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Studio 129 opens its doors


Brigid Veale
6 November 2008
The highly successful folk duo Scarlett Affection will perform at the opening of Studio 129, a fully refurbished music performance space, at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus on Friday, November 7.

The latest in audio technology and a new grand piano are among the features of the refurbished Studio 129. Taking to the stage for the official opening will be Bangalow sisters Melia and Nerida Naughton – known as Scarlett Affection (pictured).

The sassy sisters, who were ‘unearthed’ by Triple J, returned to the Lismore region after successfully touring the United States and Canada last year. They are about to embark on a ‘Real Raw and Regional Tour of the Outback’ after receiving a TRAX touring grant through the Department of Environment Heritage and the Arts.

For Nerida, performing at the official opening of the new studio will be like coming home. Nerida studied a Bachelor of Contemporary Music at the Lismore campus and recalls many hours of recording sessions in the studio.

“It’s really exciting to be coming back to Southern Cross University to perform in this new studio. It was part of my final uni project that really created Scarlett Affection,” Nerida said.

“Part of my study was to create a three-track EP and I asked my sister Melia to be involved. We spent many sleepless nights singing vocals and that studio was such a big part of carving out our career. The lecturers were incredibly inspiring.”

Last year, the sisters were invited to perform at various events in the United States and Canada, beginning with the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis Tennessee.

“It was a complete culture shock. From there we went to New York where we performed at the Knitting Factory and then to Toronto for Canadian Music Week. We are hoping to go back next year,” Nerida said.

In the meantime the talented duo has received a grant from the Department of Environment, Heritage and the Arts as part of a program to take live music into regional and rural Australia.

The girls head off later this month for a road tour of outback Australia involving 12 performances and covering 4758 kilometres.

“A lot of touring artists don’t get out to those towns and the people don’t get to see live music. In every town we are going to, everyone is really excited about hosting us,” Nerida said.

Dr Jean Griffiths, head of School of Arts and Sciences, said she was delighted to have a former graduate as the headline act for launching the new performance studio.

“It’s wonderful to see our graduates gaining attention both in Australia and internationally for their music performance, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase their talents in this refurbished performance space,” Dr Griffiths said.

“This facility will ensure our current students have access to the latest technology to enhance and record their performance. It is designed so that our students are working in facilities that are industry standard for both performance and production.

“We have a very productive association with Yamaha Australia, which has supplied much of the equipment, that will provide ongoing benefits to both our staff and students. We are also working towards making this studio a public performance space that will allow access for the broader community, to attend performances."

Photo opportunity: Scarlett Affection will be available for interviews and photos on Friday, November 7, from 11am to noon, in Studio 129, D Block, Lismore campus.