Pianist Brian Silas: Performing online during the lockdown was like playing to the wall
The transition from live performances to digital shows and concerts hasn’t been easy for artistes during the pandemic. It has been even more challenging for those who had to learn and adapt to ways of social media for digital performances. Pianist Brian Silas is among those who learnt the ropes of digital platforms during the lockdown for his online shows that will now become a monthly affair. Talking about how challenging it was for him to start his online performances, he says, “After the lockdown was announced last year, I thought that Facebook can be the platform for live streaming my music. As my wife and I were not too well-versed in the use of digital platforms, our neighbour’s granddaughter helped us out. For me, performing on the digital platform was not easy at all. I was playing for an audience I could not see. I could not see their reactions while I was playing. It was like playing to the wall,” says the musician, who decided to continue with his online shows after realizing that due to the pandemic, there is limited possibility for performing live at events and other venues. He adds, “When the lockdown was extended, I started streaming on a social media platform. It took off pretty well. Over time I became more comfortable and started speaking to my regular online listeners. They sent requests in advance, sometimes messages for their loved ones. It took me back to my childhood when there used to be a radio programme every Friday evening when a radio jockey would take requests from listeners. I felt like that radio jockey. So while it was difficult for me initially to get used to online performances, the positive part was that the response from the audience was good, it actually exceeded our expectations. One good point of live streaming was also that I played many old, beautiful, but forgotten classics that are close to my heart.” Though Silas is all set for his regular monthly online shows now, he says that “nothing can replace the joy of performing for the live audience.”
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