Musicians rely on being able to play for their audiences, so what is happening now that venues have been closed down for the foreseeable future?
Freelance musician Jenny Newman lost almost all of her income overnight when schools and venues closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But some of her gigs are still going ahead online.
Over the weekend, Folk Weekend: Oxford managed to hold their event online rather than at venues around Oxford as originally planned. Jenny, along with her band 3sticks, played traditional Irish folk music for over 100 people to dance to in a ‘Kitchen Ceilidh’ via online platform Zoom.
Footage of the online ceilidh courtesy of Folk Weekend: Oxford.
“It’s actually providing a really amazing window of opportunity for creativity”
Jenny Newman, Freelance Musician
The ceilidh was a success despite there being some worries about how it would work online. Jenny added that: “It was even more interactive in some ways, than a normal ceilidh because it was such a special event”.
Although there is uncertainty about when the lockdown will end, Jenny feels that this time period is “actually providing a really amazing window of opportunity for creativity” and that it is possible to support musicians by organising more online gigs.
Jenny Newman talks about her experience of playing a gig via Zoom.
It’s not just professional musicians that have been upset by the lockdown. Those that are studying music have also been affected.
Jamie Holman is a 17 year-old music student who normally spends his weekends in London at the Royal Academy of Music and Tomorrow’s Warriors, but whose playing is now confined to his bedroom.
Jamie practicing in his bedroom.
“people have been sending each other their [recording] projects, recording over them, and putting them together remotely”
Jamie Holman, Music Student
Some of his learning has been moved online and he is finding that “there are other ways that musicians have been working together”.
Jamie is doing as much as he can to keep up with his learning; he is missing being able to play with other musicians but has found that “people have been sending each other their [recording] projects, recording over them and putting them together remotely”, allowing for collaboration between young musicians to continue.
Jamie talks about his experience as a young musician in lockdown.