How bands make music during coronavirus epidemics

As America transformed into “working from home,” music artists began recording on zoom song sessions, live shows on YouTube, jam sessions uploaded to SoundCloud, and a Dropbox in logic files – but if you really work from home, pay Can’t find it?

Nicole Atkins and her band were set to tour for the release of their fifth studio album, Italian Ice, on May 29, but the gig on their calendar disappeared overnight when the pandemic struck as a result of cancellations by the Southwest. Two members of his tour band took a $ 7 / hour job at the Alabama Muscle Shoals tobacco shop, suddenly pinching them for lack of income.

Atkins was at home in Nashville, making a plan to get their jobs back.

Inspired by the various MTV shows of his youth, Atkins began doing shows outside his attic, recording them on his laptop, and decided to live-stream on YouTube. “At first it felt silly and pointless and” why should it be the subject of my record now? “But the times are really heavy. People need a little dose of fun,” he told the Daily Beast. “Also, he thought it might be effective.”

Her husband, sound engineer Ryan McHugh, came on a trip with Wizblood, New Zealand, just as the trip was closed in March and he, too, suffered for “working from home.” When Atkins launched his show “Live From Steel Birch,” he picked up a new audio interface and taught how to mix through his laptop to play sound. The pair temporarily restored their kitchen as a painting studio for the set’s backdrop.

According to Atkins, it would be impossible to monetize one’s music online, if not perfect year after year. Ast “Spotify and other streaming services have literally made a living from 90 percent of musicians,” Atkins explained. As the label goes, it virtually removes music when others post it online. So, a digital show was a long shot, but it worked: “I saw all these people online, started to tune in and told me, ‘I need this today,'” he said. “And then, Amazon is watching it.” ”

Within a few episodes, a scout arrived for Amazon Music and asked Atkins to host an event on their Twitch channel. The salary was enough to bring his bandmate to the set and McHugh was accompanied by Brits Daniel (spoon), Kurt Will, Nathaniel Ratleef, Chris Isaac and Jason Isabel as the zoom was present, all three of which were served directly to Mc their own quarantine. When extra guests like Shilpa Roy, Danny Clinch and Nicole’s parents spent some of the summer in Asbury Park, they showed up directly. The lineup was the easy part, he said: “Everyone’s home”

“Sometimes the shit breaks or the internet gets disconnected, but we just roll with it,” he said. “I’ve spent so much time in a band that no technician has ever been, so I’ve spent a lot of time on stage working on my comedy chops while other band members are fixing a broken string or replacing a kick drum paddle. ”

Of course, the Tour-to-Twitch formula didn’t work for everyone.

Broadway’s Headwig and Angry Inch’s ambient musician and cast member, Tim Mislock were ready for a live show hosted by John Cameron Mitchell, the creator of Headwig. When they were quad-canceled, Mislock tried twitch performances, but didn’t really take it: “It’s not like watching a performance music performance while sitting at home,” he told the Daily Beast.

He poured his energy into everyday improvised pieces in the SoundCloud called Wind Love. To do this, he worked with former bandmates Peter Silberman (The Anthology), Heather Woods Broderick (Sharon Van Atten) and associate Headwig members, sending logic files back and forth. “The idea is to act fast, and if the inspiration spreads, cool – it’s creative to concentrate at a time when it feels weird to be creative.” It didn’t provide Tour Income, but it did form the basis of his upcoming album.

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the Cajun band The Revealers did not jump into the “virtual thing” at first. Along with the music created for the dance, these Grammy nominees ’bread and butter was a live show. (“I’d rather be a richer farmer than a virtual musician,” the saxophonist announced at the heart of a band in March.) But since the state illegally banned indoor music this spring, after a severe ban on dance in August, it’s the longest time Fidel player Daniel Kulik has been in one place for more than a decade.

“If you’re not actively entertaining, you don’t have a presence like this, which I like to be a musician part of” pop ensembles “but this is the worst thing at this time,” said Kulik, leader of the Congolese Rumba band Boma Bango and several other swamps. ”

He took lessons on string instruments on the zoom, and he and the percussionist Glenn Fields channeled some of their creative energy (and their desire for the road) in a podcast about mid-the-road touring musicians (“Stories from the middle”), each of which Recorded from home and for that needed to buy an interface and some mix and acquire new skills on Skype.

“At least personally, the idea of ​​having a regular show in front of the camera seems strange,” he told the Daily Beast. “This band is like dancing and interacting with the audience.” Still, The Revelers will play their first set together after the March tour is canceled. It will be the set to record the virtual version of this year’s Festival Audience aired on October 9th. Their only audience will be camera operators and crew.

For musician Chloe Nixon, the epidemic did not change her life on the surface. He still lives with his parents in Albuquerque, meets regularly with his artist group through Zoom, and reads online in high school as he did before because of the demands of his music life career. He could not sleep when George Floyd died. She wrote “I can’t breathe”, her mother shot a video in her backyard the next day, published online and considering all the music from NPR.

“Right now, I think people are so eager to hear because of the epidemic,” he told the Daily Beast. “I’ve seen amazing responses from people and people have reached out to me telling me how they’ve been touched and the reason this and the very nice thing to get so much support from my people is that the pace was huge this time around.”

Other musicians, like soloist Todd Lippi, have found it a time of creative fruitfulness, exchanging logical files with producer Kramer (Galaxy 500, lower), or remotely producing this second album, like The Rance’s Charles Beasley, who spent a decade finishing an album. Working for But most bands can’t imagine a world without live shows.

After Ioff O’Donoghue and bandmates Sarah Jarosz and Sarah Watkins took me to Grammy for her folk trio with him in 2018, she focused on a new solo album with Yep Rock and an international tour with it. But after two rehearsals with the band this March, the cancellations turned around.

At home, she focused on working on her next album and starring with her husband Eric Jacobson and brother-in-law Colin Jacobsen – who themselves composed the acclaimed chamber music duo The Nights. The trio decorated stage music videos from their kitchen table in Brooklyn, decorated with kids toys and near-empty wine glasses, and in the backyard of their apartment building.

But digital shows are just a stop-gap: he’s eager to get in front of a live audience again. “I am a traveling musician; He told the Daily Beast what

Soon her husband Eric will return to his own in live singing; He is being called to Florida as the music director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as the film prepares to begin performances at the end of the summer. The plan could be accepted via video conference, but he will be live again in just a few weeks, albeit outside at a soccer stadium.

Donvan said, “I have no fear that live music will not return.” I think it’s really important for lovers of live music and art artists to remind themselves: live music is just a part of the fabric of humanity and it always has been. – And it will continue after the epidemic. “


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