Into The Groove
STORY AND IMAGES BY RICHARD CORNISH
Cameron Saunders and Sallie Harvey have a well-honed repertoire. They set up gags for each other and finesse the others' sentences. They have spent a lot of time together. Sallie is a huntress, cook and singer. Cameron is a DJ and record producer. Both locals, they met through their children’s schools. This summer they spent hours in Cameron’s recording studio, hidden in the bush on the outskirts of Daylesford, making an album that will be performed live on Friday, June 21. Cameron, sitting comfortably in a plush upholstered chair of the Palais in Hepburn where they are performing this month, explains the process.
“First I lay down the drums and then the bass,” he says. Sallie continues, “Then I come in and sing over the top of that track." Cameron looks at Sallie. "It's more than that," he says. "She ad libs her own lyrics. And – she is pitch perfect." Cameron then takes each song and produces it, laying down more layers of Sallie’s voice perhaps sampling it perhaps bringing in Sallie again to record her own harmonies.
Cameron collaborates with other artists and producers working under the name Cellula, but in this guise, he is Ezc, (pronounced ee-zee-see) featuring Sallie Harvey. The album is called Where You Are and is sold online as downloadable files. The publicity blurb describes the music as “Loungey funky bizness with live instruments & electronics, along the lines of something like Fat Freddy's Drop, but less dubby.” For those not familiar with those references, Where You Are is a beautifully produced collection of modern melodic music that doesn't follow traditional song structure. There is no verse and chorus assembly. Instead, there are meandering themes that return to a leitmotif all drenched in Sallie’s mellifluous voice, her lyrics hauntingly beautiful. When Cameron plays their work through the beefy sound system of the Palais, you get the feeling that this would sit just as easily in a club in Amsterdam or Berlin.
That the two could come together and produce something so wonderfully complete and polished is no coincidence. Both are trained and have long CVs. Sallie trained at the VCA studying singing, and she has always sung professionally. In the 1990s she recorded a few tracks with a then well-known producer. “I had just started my chef’s apprenticeship, and a song came on the radio," remembers Sallie, her eyes flashing. "And I thought to myself, ‘that sounds like me'. And it was." The song Believe by Traveller and In Motion made its way to number one on the dance charts. Sallie has continued to perform gigs bringing her powerfully emotive voice to private and public performances in the region. She is renowned for making grown men weep openly on ANZAC Day with her unaccompanied rendition of And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.
Cameron was a self-taught musician who played the blues and punk before moving to Brixton in London in the early 1990s. There he met dance music with all its electronic generated beats and grooves head on and fell in love with the genre. A well-respected producer in the industry he plays the clubs around the district performing live over beats and bringing in guest artists such as Sallie. “What we do is never predictable,” says Sallie. “It is truly beautiful.”
Ezc featuring Sallie Harvey is playing at The Palais, Hepburn June 21. You can purchase Where You Are from CDbaby.com - click here for direct link