The Australian Music Vault, a new free exhibition space dedicated to sharing the story of Australian contemporary music and exploring its future, will open to the public at Arts Centre Melbourne on Tuesday December 19 2017.
Created in collaboration with the music industry and funded by the Victorian Government, the ground-breaking new Australian music experience will include a free exhibition, education programs and a fully integrated digital program and will showcase items from the iconic people, events and places that define Australian music. Founding patrons include Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and Michael Gudinski.
The Australian Music Vault will feature items from artists that include: Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Molly Meldrum, AC/DC, Men at Work, Split Enz, Midnight Oil, The Seekers, Tina Arena, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny O’Keefe, Margaret
RoadKnight, Skyhooks, Daddy Cool, Divinyls, Paul Kelly, Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im, Cold Chisel, Missy Higgins, Silverchair, Bliss n Eso, John Farnham, Yothu Yindi, The Saints, Nick Cave, Radio Birdman, Spiderbait, Urthboy, The Go-Betweens, Ngaiire, Ecca Vandal and Courtney Barnett.
The Australian Music Vault will not be approached chronologically or by genre and will feature rotating content to profile the contributions of as many performers as possible. Themes will be broad in scope with interlinking content encouraging visitors to create and discover unexpected connections across time periods and styles.
One of the featured themes, The Real Thing, will explore whether or not there really is an “Australian Voice” by looking at musical influences, lyric composition and the impact of performance venues on the Australian ‘sound’. It will celebrate the contribution of hit makers and heroes and will also highlight the contributions of lesser known but equally influential performers and industry personnel.
Also featured in the exhibition will be a series of displays that will highlight the power of music to bring people together across socio-economic, political, gender and geographical boundaries and the notion of ‘musical tribes’. One of the first
to be explored will be Punk/New Wave, timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of punk. Looking at identity & belonging, this area will explore the pivotal moment in Australian music between 1977- 1985 with a focus on performers, venues and do it yourself recording, distribution and publishing.
Arts Centre Melbourne is a fitting home for the Australian Music Vault. In addition to being the busiest performing arts centre in the country, it is also home to an extensive Australian music collection and best-practice curatorial, collection management and programming experience.
The music collection is part of Arts Centre Melbourne Australian Performing Arts Collection, the nation’s leading specialist collection documenting Australia’s circus, dance, music, opera and theatre heritage. Established in 1975 and now formally recognised as a State collection, it consists of over 600,000 items including costumes, designs, programs, photographs, posters, personal memorabilia and archival material.
The Victorian Government has invested $8.3 million in the creation of the Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of its commitment to strengthening the State’s music industry and culture.
Quotes attributable to Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley:
“Australia has a proud contemporary music history and a proud live music culture, especially here in Victoria. This is an important part of who we are and it’s something to celebrate.”
“Whether it’s Paul Kelly or Kylie Minogue, The Seekers or Rowland S Howard, musicians are our storytellers and provide the narrative and soundtrack to our lives and collective experience.”
“The Australian Music Vault will bring all this to life, telling the stories of Australian music through the people and events who have shaped it and drawing on Arts Centre Melbourne’s extraordinary, internationally significant collection of music treasures. This project has been a long time coming, championed by many in our music industry, and we are pleased to be bringing it to life.”