The creative state of Montague

The creative state of Montague
Trisha Avery

This month’s column continues to focus on Montague as a precinct where creative industries and creative individuals can flourish and grow.

It would be wonderful to think that all those huge towers owned by private developers might provide areas or studios where artists, both experienced and emerging, can rent or buy at affordable prices.

There is nothing quite like a precinct that develops creative energy to produce a “cool” factor, an attractive environment for residents, hospitality businesses and of course investment.

I do hope the Fishermans Bend Development Board and Task Force have this concept front and centre when they (hopefully soon) release the Montague Precinct plans.

The other interesting phenomena is the contrast between the elegance of the new skyline and the areas left empty, dirty, and unloved.

These are literally across the road or tramline from each other …

Meet a Montaguan

And for this month’s “Meet a Montaguan”, we met Lee Cardan who has a recording studio in that hub of creativity in the Industry building at 87 Gladstone St.

Who are you, tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a local music producer, audio engineer, and business-minded creative. I’ve run recording studios since 2009 and am so happy to be working in a field where I can combine and indulge in my passions for music, electronics, and engineering. Five years ago, I met two artists, Mo and Khaled from the Australian hip hop act Diafrix. After some great discussions and finding how likeminded we were, we decided to start Alt. Music Group – a record label and artist management company where we work with promising and passionate young artists, guiding them through their musical careers while developing and managing their brands. We cover services including audio, content creation, social media marketing, bookings, promotions, and PR. Recently I’ve also partnered with two other talented friends to produce and create a series of live music performances, called Spaces Presents. Outside of work you’ll probably find me on the pool table at the Prince Alfred Hotel in Port Melbourne.

What brought you to live or work in the Montague Precinct of South Melbourne?

I live in Port Melbourne and have recently left my studio of seven years (also in Port Melbourne) to a new space here on Gladstone St in the Industry Business Hub. The building has a great inclusive feel to it, like the area in general. The new studio will be open early in the new year and I’m really looking forward to the streamlined approach and modern feel it will have.

What are the best and/or most interesting things about working or living in Montague?

The whole area makes me feel like a kid again. My friends and I get on the Lime bike any chance we get and always find something new. Whether you’re walking, riding, or driving everything is easily accessible and traffic is normally light. Beaches, parks, the market, and a rich history, all accompanied by some of the best city views Melbourne has to offer! How can you go wrong? To be honest I don’t really leave the area.

How does working or living in Montague affect your quality of life/work?

Montague and its immediate surrounds offer a healthy balance of recreation and inspiration. With great food, wine bars, and strong community, it’s hard not to be in a good mood most of the time, and that feeds into my work. I couldn’t count the times my wife and I said to each other how lucky we were to be in lockdown here.

What are the challenges of working or living in Montague?

Leaving the area is the biggest challenge for me. Everything I need is here, and when I don’t leave my days are significantly longer. I get through more and get more outdoors time, so yeah, I definitely find it hard leaving the bubble.

If you could change something about Montague, what would it be?

I’m excited to be in the Montague Precinct and hope the urban renewal we’re a part of does take a positive direction for its residential and commercial occupants. In the meantime, it would be great to see the council putting a little more towards maintaining and supporting the area generally while it transitions •

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