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My Melbourne: Janine Barrand

28 Feb 2018

Janine Barrand, curator for the Australian Music Vault talks all things music and Melbourne.

The collected history of Australian contemporary music is now on show at Australian Music Vault, a project close to Janine Barrand’s heart. In many ways, it’s surprising a project like this hasn’t appeared before now. In December, the doors opened on the Australian Music Vault. Housed within Arts Centre Melbourne, it is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Australia’s popular music scene.

“The Australian Music Vault has been a dream for several decades,” says Janine. “Not just for me, but other figures in the music world, too. It was a dream to tell the stories of Australia’s music history in a really engaging way.” Many of the pieces on display have come from the Arts Centre Melbourne’s extensive collection, and include costumes and memorabilia items from Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, Paul Kelly, the Skyhooks, AC/DC and many more. Others have been borrowed from collectors.

The Vault is conceived thematically, rather than chronologically, and covers contemporary music from the beginnings of rock and roll in the 1950s right through to the current day, with a year-long tribute to 2017 ARIA Hall of Fame recipient Daryl Braithwaite.

“Overlaying all that is a digital experience that’s highly interactive,” says Janine. “A team has been recording interviews with musicians, promoters and behind-the-scenes people telling their stories, and visitors will be able to listen to them in the engagement zone.”

For Janine, it was important to be able to delve into lesser-known corners of the music world and the Vault will open with an exhibit focusing on the emergence of punk 40 years ago. The piece she’s most excited about, though, doesn’t come from a big name. “Roland S Howard’s guitar,” she says. “It’s never been on public display before, it was the only guitar he ever owned, and he’s such a cult figure, having worked with Nick Cave in the Birthday Party then going on to have his own career.

“The beauty of the Vault is it will work on many levels. The people who want to come in and see the iconic objects can do that then there’ll be stuff for the real aficionados.”

Janine's Melbourne Picks

Restaurant My favourite is Kenzan. I love Japanese food and it is authentic — you feel as though you could be in Japan.

Cafe I live in Pascoe Vale South and a new local has opened near us in Brunswick West called The Postmistress. We were really impressed by the quality of food and the attention we received.

Live Music Venue Being outside at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl seeing Midnight Oil was remarkable. There’s something about being outside with that crowd that is an amazing experience.

Pamper I had a few massages last year at Peninsula Hot Springs in the lead-up to the Vault opening.

View When I walk the dog in the morning, the view from Coonans Hill, of the city waking up in the distance, is awesome.

Bar Angela, who set up and runs Independent Wine Store in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula, has such an excellent knowledge of wine — not just Mornington Peninsula wine either, but wine and beer from around Victoria.

Shopping Sydney Road in Brunswick, because I like anything handmade or vintage, but my favourite store there is The Olive Grove Studios, where all the clothes are made by local artists.