Musicians uplift community spirit during Coronavirus

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven 9. Photograph: Laura Manariti

While Australian society heads into lockdown and we disengage from the social atmosphere of the physical world, in response to the cancellation of scheduled events and millions of dollars-worth of lost income, musicians from near and far are tapping into the technologies of digital broadcasting to bring their performances to our screens via livestreaming.

As the raging beast bares down on the world impacting on the lives of every person on the planet, and although we know this new norm of social-distancing and self-isolation is a temporary measure, we also know we are in for tough times. But with the Australian fighting spirit and the voices of those in showbiz, the show must go on!

Over the coming months to keep our spirits high and in the hope of generating income, musicians from Australia and around the world are turning to the innovations of the digital world to bring their music into our loungerooms via live streaming on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. From classical to R&B, folk pop, rap, rock pop and other contemporary musical genres there are streamed events for all musical tastes. Live streams create a fun, intimate and interactive way to engage with your favourite artists or bring you the sounds of those who you have never heard.

Australian’s love live pub gigs, but in recent years live music in hotels has been on the decline and is now further threatened by recent crowd restrictions and now total venue closures due to Coronavirus. The inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills will go down in the history of Australian music culture as one of the most active hubs for live bands from the late 1970s to the 90s, and many of us are lucky to have been part of it. As a way to revive local music, Surry Hills Creative Precinct aligned with The City of Sydney and Music For Trees to createSurry Hills Live’, a project which films live gigs then promotes to audiences online.

Jesse Redwing and Kane Muir, live-streamed performance 19 March, 2020

And now to fill the even bigger void as our nation locks down the initiative has adapted the program to ‘Surry Hills Live Streaming’, showcasing free live streamed performances by Sydney musicians every Thursday at 7.30pm until 30 April direct from the Surry Hills Live Facebook page.
The first ‘Surry Hills Live Streaming’ event, which aired on 19 March is a must if blues music is the thing that rocks your soul. The laid back performance by Jesse Redwing and Kane Muir is superb, see them via this link. Next in the line-up is The Cruel Three, and Sherin’ on Thursday 26 March, followed by Cody Dillon, Dr. Goddard and others in the weeks to come. Click here to view the upcoming program.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) recently live-streamed the cancelled Melbourne performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’, conducted by Peruvian Miguel Harth, as part of MSO’s ‘Keep the Music Going’ initiative. Based on the tales of the female character Scheherazade from ‘One Thousand and One Nights,’ this enchanting orchestral piece composed by Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 fills our ears with dramatic heights of anticipation and wonder as the tales of the protagonist come to life with the sounds of the instrumental composition.

Following the success of this production the MSO also live streamed Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No.7’, conducted by Benjamin Northey. For your chance to experience these and other classical works tune in to MSO’s YouTube channel then sit back, relax and let the performances take you away. MSO are also broadcasting past performances via ABC Classic, click here to view the program on MSO’s website.

From further afield a growing number of international celebrity artists have joined ‘Solidarity Sessions: Together, At Home’, which offers a series of free concerts made available to audiences through a partnership between Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation with the aim of uniting struggling communities across the globe, raising hope for the future and supporting the need for social distancing. Catch intimate musical moments with artists Chris Martin of UK rock band Cold Play, singer songwriter John Legend, Charlie Puth, Neill Horan and rapper, artist and writer, Common, as well as OneRepublic and duo Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, singing some of their most popular songs, with more artists to come as the days roll on.

Stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more local, national and international live streamed music performances that will no doubt be popping up.