an otherwise quiet room


A video series of duets, AOQR is the brainchild of Mandy Connell, who calls on a dedicated knowledge of the independent music scene to team up and swap songs with a diverse, interesting and recognisable string of songwriters. Each episode is set in a different social space, forging a connection between community, place and art, and features originals by Connell, the Guest, and then cover of another independent artist. In the Yarra Sessions, Sarah Carroll and Connell sang ‘Heart Beating’ and Brent Parlane covered Frank Jones’ famous “My Brown Yarra”.


the stray hens


Inspired by the Imagined Village, Bellowhead, and Iain MacRae from The Press Club, Stray Hens was a 5-piece band designed to perform traditional and classic folk ballads. Incorporating Ryan Tews, Rowena Wise, Sally Taylor, and Richard Grace, and later Carmen O’Brien and Claire Johnston, the band recorded a 7-Track self-titled release, recorded and mixed by drummer Ryan Tews. In 2014 the band performed at Port Fairy Folk Festival, among others and in 2016 the Stray Hens finished and released a full album called “The Confluence” featuring an original by Connell, and songs by Karine Polwart, Hugh McDonald, Graeme Moore, and some traditional pieces arranged by the band. The Confluence was recorded by Luke Plumb and mixed by Mattie Foulds (UK). The Hens have sadly called it a day and are no longer performing together, with members having


the maggie darlings


Intended to be a project of a few days, The Maggies is a collaboration between Connell, Layla Fibbins (Sideshow Brides) and Alysia Manceau (as herself). The studio time was expanded and took second place to the three artists other work, however the finished product is something they are all proud of. The trio brought nine songs together for the project, recorded at Thirty Mill Studios in Brunswick and mixed and mastered by Colin Wynn. The album was called ‘The Wishing Well’ and has attracted some great reviews and consistent airplay on 3RRR’s ‘Twang’.