It began rather unexpectedly like this: I met Via Tania in the old armchairs of the 2ser lobby. Tea in hand, she had an air of holiday about her and was relaxed about a total stranger asking her to make a video. Phew. We swapped numbers and she suggested we meet tomorrow morning before she had to see her mother for lunch. No problem, I said, Why don’t I pick you up and we’ll drive you to where you have to meet her, we can make a video in the car on the way. Maybe stop off in the park if there’s time? She was excited.
Via Tania liked the idea of driving. But the moment I suggested it, I was nervous. What an idiot! Engines and car horns would totally ruin her sweetly rambling melodies! And what if it rained? All that stormy noise! It was raining now… it was going to be a nightmare!
But the next day was nothing but moody magic. Rolling through the wide terraced streets of Stanmore and Camperdown, past public schools and local parks, we chatted and laughed about living in Sydney and growing up just a few streets from where we now filmed. (Tania has lived in Melbourne and Sydney and now lives in Chicago.) We drove steadily through the dappled light of fig tree canopies and she smirked her way through a wrong turn onto a bustling Parramatta Rd. In between songs we discussed her journey to America and the bitter Chicago winter she had left behind.
Tania’s albums are characterised by layer upon layer of sound, from the pulse and throb of electronic beats, to the light angelic sounds of bells and xylophones, to the dreamy reverberation of vocals and pianos. These films present her music in a new way we hadn’t expected. The gentle plucking of her largish ukulele coupled with her silky Australian/American drawl, gives audiences fresh access to the questioning and longing inherent in her storytelling. Her warm romantic lyrics surface with an intimacy not usually experienced at a show on from an album. As she disappeared into the crowd at King St Station, we were left feeling that something special had been captured in the car, from the streets of Stanmore to Newtown; where her mother was patiently waiting.