It’s now been over two months since I last played for a live audience (if you’re interested, the last before self-isolation overlapping into lockdown were both ‘early St Patrick’s’ gigs – 13 March with Pogue Traders and 14 March with Kindred Spirit Duo). In that time I’ve done quite a lot of recuperating (from chronic fatigue syndrome as well as Covid-19), a heck of a lot of practice directly or indirectly aimed towards taking an LTCL viola recital diploma (which would finally give me an equivalent to the conservatoire degree certain orchestral fixers believe separates professionals from amateurs) and one paid plus a few unpaid wanted-the-experience remote recordings.
But, that’s not really giving me an income (especially since my other sometime career line, editorial freelancing, has if possible dried up more comprehensively than music work); or a sense of purpose any more immediate than end of lockdown, which is the earliest Trinity are going to consider restarting performance exams or for that matter that it will be at all responsible for me to consider rehearsing my LTCL programme with a pianist.
So, after some consideration, some research and a fair bit of feeling that there is no ideal way to do this, I’m jumping on the livestream performance bandwagon with a trial ‘tour’ of online platforms, mostly as remote busking:
As you’ll see, the first one is coming up as soon as this Tuesday (19 May) at 8pm British ‘Summer’ Time, and I’m going to play a mix of genres, styles and indeed instruments covering most of my musical spectrum (no baroque viola or overdriven electric violin this week, sorry). It should be very easy to find:
- Go to https://www.facebook.com/martinashmusic (my Facebook page as a musician, as opposed to profile as an individual)
- By eight o’clock, you should see an item at the top of the news feed saying something like ‘Martin Ash is live’. If you can’t see it, refresh the page and it should show up. Click on it and the video and audio will start streaming in real time!
- (Preferably in a separate tab or window, or afterwards – we don’t want you to miss anything) Go to paypal.me/martinashmusic where you’ll be able to tip me for my labours to entertain you
That should be it! I don’t think you even need to have a Facebook account, let alone to have ‘liked’ the page, though I may be wrong about those. And if you miss it you should be able to come back a little while after the live stream finishes (aiming for 9pm) and watch the whole thing on demand, though that won’t apply to some future weeks on other platforms.
I’ve seen a range of quality of these performances – hopefully, using a laptop webcam not a phone, a pro-quality audio interface and good microphones, I will avoid audio optimisation for speech, deliver decent sound quality and not broadcast a mirrored image of myself (watching ‘left-handed’ violinists is so confusing, though less so than reversed pianists … ). As to the actual music, well, you’ll have to tune in to find out won’t you?
One future heads-up – the first few weeks will be free to access and for donations. However, the 16th June livestream, on Zoom, will be a ‘ticketed’ requests performance. So you’ll need to transfer £5 to the paypal.me link in advance for me to send you the Zoom meeting ID and password – and contact me to say that’s what you’ve done, what contact details I should send the Zoom access details to, and what you want to request in the performance. Please get your requests in early in case preparing them turns out to be interesting!
Please tune in on Tuesday, and I’ll update you with how the first one went and more information on following streams!