Matt Corby drops doco behind making of Rainbow Valley
When his second album Rainbow Valley came out last year, Matt Corby spoke at length in interviews about what inspired its making.
These included the birth of his son Hugh and his fascination with the tragi-comedy that is today’s American politics.
He also wanted to create an improvised album-on-the-run, taking three months and with no songs written until the sessions began.
Sessions shifted between The Music Farm studio and the singer-songwriter’s own home set-up.
Rainbow Valley’s original owner was a full-time gardener who created a sanctuary with lotus ponds, palm trees, ferns and pathways, and no neighbours in sight.
The record was always going to be named after the property, Corby says.
“If I wasn’t here, I probably wouldn’t have recorded in this time, or if I did, it would have been completely different.”
The album cover gave a glimpse of the laid back beauty of Rainbow Valley, complete with his dog Django.
Now a documentary – shot and directed by Sydney content and brand design agency Yeahsure – delves deeper.
In between a tour of the studio and his instruments (including an out-of-tune $900 piano) Corby reveals he has a regime of being in there three days a week between 10 am and 5 pm.
The whimsical and dream-like nature of some of the tracks stemmed from the fact many of his songs come to him in a dream, and usually fully formed.
It was easier for him, then, to play all the instruments.
“I find it difficult technically to other musicians exactly what it is I want them to do. In terms of dynamics and feel.”
3’s a “magic number when it comes to creative stuff”, he says, and the record was made with just himself, multi-award winning producer Dann Hume and Melbourne-based freelance engineer Matt Neighbour.
The island of time and space” (as he describes it) of Rainbow Valley adds to the ambience of the record.
But the magnitude of Rainbow Valley’s inspiration goes deeper
It’s his first real home in Australia since his teen days.
At eight or nine his parents had set him on the road to music by buying him a $90 guitar and getting him lessons.
At 14 Corby left home to join a church vocal group and literally hit the road.
Four years later he moved to England. When he returned to Sydney, there were just a series of rental spaces until he came across Rainbow Valley.
With this becoming an anchor in his life, the property further shaped the album in another way.
“I wanted to create something that was almost instructional for my little boy.
“A reference for him to not just the way I see reality and the simple truths that I’ve come across.
“The lyrics are simple truths. I’m not trying to be too clever or poetic.
“If anything it was, ‘This is the way I see the world and this is the way I feel about it’.”