With private investment, the studio got the green light in 2019 to be the audio, sound and music support of the precinct. Con Hill has had success with events like Afropunk and BashaUhuru in the past, so this partnership gave structure to an already entrenched Con Hill offering.
The studios that were finished this year have been designed with an honest embrace of historical and heritage architecture while not skimping on being “world-class, not half-baked”, says McCormack. It's essential to draw commercial clients so the studios can be sustainable in the long run.
“Our name, Flame Studios, comes from the Flame of Democracy that burns outside the ConCourt. And ConCourt really is ground zero for the battle of the soul of the country, so there's a weighty sense of responsibility in what we're doing. We want to get it right,” says McCormack of being aligned to strengthening a young democracy.
The recording hub has as its neighbours the Speak Truth to Power Lounge and a catering start-up Food, I Love You. These are enterprises that mean a foodie space returns to the Hill, but also that there's room for poetry, performance, discussion and debate.
The creative economy on Con Hill draws on understanding this fuller swirl of needs, and realises that people want to be part of the collective churn when purpose and meaning merge. It is then that things start to turn, to spiral and the surge can become certain uprising.