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business models, strategies and technologies

Musical frameworking and depths of appreciation

Isolation-patching and Corona togetherness

One of the interesting side effects of lockdown and social distancing à la April 2020 and thereafter is that people have been getting inventive about ways to do their musical thing, and how to get their material and their abilities out to audiences – without the physical proximity and health risks inherent in millennia-old performance structures.

As one close-to-home example in Denmark, double bass-player Mathæus Bech launched his coronakoncerter.dk initiative, in which he got other musicians to perform in his flat in Copenhagen, and then streamed the concerts to those temporarily unable to attend any live music performances that might be held – because of corona-related restrictions. 

States-side, there’s the redoubtable John Fogerty performing Creedence Clearwater Revival classics from his garden in an instalment of Rolling Stone’s “In My Room” series, in which musicians perform from their homes to overcome the separation effects resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. There are thousands of others, too.

However, most such basic “one-performer-to-audience-of-many” setups are really only replicating the traditional performance format – at a distance and without the risks now associated with co-mingling diverse human juices and microbe critters. This means that  – despite the beguiling unfamiliarity of “how” it’s done – there isn’t any significant innovation to be found in this business model.

Upping the inclusivity and involvement

One idea seems to alter the demographics in this performance equation, by encouraging those interested to sign up to actually take part in the performance. With the aid of various electronic jiggery-pokery, it’s apparently possible to transition from bringing music to people under lockdown to creating online communities in which people can make music alongside the best musicians in the world.

For example, the global Stay at Home Choir has thus evolved the SAHC community, with participants from 72 countries, shown here singing with The King’s Singers, the world-renowned a cappella ensemble.

However, such efforts are probably really only temporary “patches” until things – supposedly and hopefully – get back to something resembling what used to be considered “normal”.