Casting a web of music

Updated: 24 March, 2020 10:53 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

With live gigs having come to a standstill, music platforms are taking their services online to keep fans entertained. We bring you the best

Hanita Bhambri
Hanita Bhambri

As far as the Indian independent music industry is concerned, the advent of the coronavirus isn't well, music to the ears. All foreign artistes who were supposed to perform gigs here are mostly twiddling their thumbs in their respective countries after a government directive banning international visitors. Gigs by local artistes have also been cancelled after the lockdown in Maharashtra. So the whole independent music circuit is in the doldrums.

But, the show must go on. That's why there are a host of organisations who are coming forward to rescue fans from their self-isolated boredom. Here, we list three such platforms that are offering courses, concerts and the like for free online. Log on, and tune in.

Music served virtually

The Indian Music Diaries (TIMD) is an online platform that has scoured the nooks and crannies of this country for independent musicians since 2005, giving artistes living largely in the shadows their moment under the sun. Last year, they started a programme called TIMD Upskill, where they invite experts from the industry to share advice on a variety of subjects, such as electronic music production and the nitty-gritty of songwriting. That same programme is now acting as a boon for music enthusiasts in the wake of the coronavirus. But founder Akshay Kapoor tells us that given the present gloomy situation, they have also started online sessions where different artistes will take over their social media pages for virtual concerts. Kapoor says, "The next two we have confirmed feature [singer-songwriter] Hanita Bhambri and Mumbai-based rapper The Siege." Keep an eye out for TIMD online to give them a listen.

Log on to The Indian Music Diaries on Instagram

In synth

A musician plays a Korg synthesizer
A musician plays a Korg synthesizer

The lockdown isn't simply an Indian problem. The global music industry is also down to its knees. In response, major synthesizer manufacturer Korg has made its app called Kaossilator, which normally costs $20, available free for download. "Schools, offices and concerts worldwide have been requested to close and with many people self-quarantining and working from home, we wanted to help you occupy your time a little," the company said in a statement. It follows a similar move by Moog, a competitor.

Log on to The Kaossilator app on an iOS system

Jamming online

A live Madness Jams gig
A live Madness Jams gig

It was on March 18 that Madness Jams — a gig series held at alternative venues across the country — was supposed to host its latest live edition in Mumbai, featuring indie biggie Blackstratblues. Once that concert got cancelled due to obvious reasons, the organisers arranged for the band to host a live gig on social media at the same time the original event was supposed to be held. Taking that same idea forward, they have now conceived Curfew Jams, an aptly titled series of live music where selected musicians from the length and breadth of India will perform for an online audience. An event was held last Sunday, featuring musicians like Abdon Mech from Nagaland and Tanmaya Bhatnagar, a Delhi-based artiste who logged in from Germany, where she is now based. Madness Jams founder Vidit Chitroda tells us that there are more such virtual shows in the pipeline. And speaking about the present impasse, he adds, "We are human beings with both social and animal instincts, so we will learn to adapt even to this situation. Artistes will always look for ways to interact with their fans and all we need to do is find a sweet spot for that to happen."

Log on to Madness Jams on Instagram

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First Published: 24 March, 2020 10:09 IST

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