Evelyn Ida Morris
Evelyn Ida Morris has been making music since they were three years old. It started with the piano, then the drums, then indie bands, trekking into the city from Warrandyte to sneak into gigs as a teenager. Now they’re one of Victoria’s most gifted composers and live music acts. In fact, they were recently voted one of the Top 50 Most Power People in the Australian music industry.
In 2014, after releasing several tracks under the name Pikelet, Morris co-founded LISTEN, an advocacy group for diverse Australian artists. In 2017, they released their first self-titled album, full of racing, dextrous piano chords. Then it was onto feature film soundtracks, including the score for Acute Misfortune in 2018, which earned Morris their first ARIA nomination.
We sat down with Morris to get their hot tips for Melbourne, plus a playlist featuring their favourite local artists.
1. The Flinders Street Station Photo Booth
I love the photo booth at Flinders Street Station. I have been going there and having my portrait taken since I was a teenager heading to my first gig. It’s still there outside the station. There’s even an Instagram page where people are commemorating the booth by uploading photos taken inside.
2. The Forum
My favourite venue in Melbourne is The Forum. I have so many epic memories there. When I was just starting to make music, under the name Pikelet, I walked past and said out loud to my friend, “Gosh, I really want to play at The Forum one day!” Weirdly enough, not long after that, I was asked to support Sufjan Stevens there on my first ever international support tour.
3. Collins Place
This building has some long history for me. I would go there in my final years of high school to look out the bathroom windows, which have some spectacular views of the city. I also love the food court below The Sofitel, where the Kino Cinemas are. It’s a nice quiet space that’s usually warm in winter and cool in summer. In 2010, I was lucky enough to play in Claire Bowditch’s band as she opened for the Leonard Cohen tour, and the whole band and crew were staying at The Sofitel. Collins Place has become this place of overlapping memories for me.
4. Hells Kitchen
I worked at Hells Kitchen for about five years, and then for a few more after that at Meyers Place Bar. My bartending days at both these venues were an informative period for me, as they both tend to be where local visual artists hang out after opening their exhibitions. So I was introduced to many artists I really admire. Given that I’ve never been to university, having that backstage entrance to ‘how art works’, and having access to the smaller DIY gallery spaces around Melbourne, was a real gift.
5. Comedy Republic
Back when I was still working at The Arthouse at the age of 19 or 20, being a tiny punk/ska nerd, I also worked every year at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I loved working at the Festival mostly because we got any leftover tickets available, so I would see all kinds of comedy. I would stand outside the beautiful Manchester Unity Building, hoping I would bump into Noel Fielding and get a signature. I’m really glad that Kyran Wheatley opened Comedy Republic, because they showcase comics all year-round, not just in April.