When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, much news was not expected from the music industry because the shutdown left shuttered venues and canceled performances and tours. However, musicians all over the world did not give up. They used their creativity to look for new and better ways to connect to fans and listeners.
Many Oregon institutions and artists recuperated their balance after the astounding blows of spring and winter. They switched to online presentations to keep the music flowing, all thanks to the internet. Surprisingly, the streaming during the lockdown was even much better than it was prior to the lockdown. The sound quality was great and it exceeded the expectations of many due to the quality of pre-pandemic live streams.
Technology has also made it possible for artists to collaborate in real-time. It also helped them to bypass the dormancy issue that had left distanced artists unable to remain on the same beat. Many solutions have also emerged across the globe, with one of the first invented by 45th Parallel’s Danny Rosenberg. Not all the streams were videos. Together with its cool Soundwalks, Third Angle has its own podcast.
Others have also turned to social media platforms for recurring audio features. Wyatt True – the Executive Director and violinist at Delgani Quartet comes on Facebook every Monday and Thursday to talk to quartet artists all over the world.
Just as audio and Oregon radio has progressed over the years, so has video quality as well. The improvement in video quality is very important since it is how we experience music in the lockdown era. Even when it is only musicians playing in a concert hall with no audience, multiple cameras and setups add visual interest, making us feel more like we are live at the venue.
Even the modest lower-fi streams from the home studios of artists add a sort of charm and sense of intimacy and connection to our local musicians that we cannot get when we see them on stage. It is even more likely to improve until the resumption of live performance.
The Oregon Symphony joined many other orchestras in canceling its whole 2020-2021 season. However, on its site, you can hear and see symphony artists performing in its children’s classical series and Essential Sounds. The YouTube channel of the stressed orchestra hosts other recordings by its musicians. You can also listen to recordings of the orchestra and conversations with Carlos Kalmar (outgoing music director) in the eight-part series of the All Classical Portland.
The Oregon classical vocal group Resonance Ensemble, which is well-known for its responsiveness to social issues, responded to the lockdown by going visual. They did some safely distanced outdoor performances around Portland.
The extended period of the shutdown forced out the creativity in many musicians and bands across the globe. Most of them looked for better ways to reach their fans and listeners. While others are engaging their fans on music-streaming platforms such as Spotify, others are organizing live concerts and events over the web.