Music as a uniting force is nothing new. It stretches back millennia – that instinct to turn towards melody and song when times are tough. In the past, we’ve seen benefit concerts that aim to solve political differences, raise money for important causes, and heal wounds left by tragic events. And once again, with the world facing uncertainty, there are many uplifting examples of people looking – or rather, listening – to music for support.
The right wavelength
Drive times may be cut down, but radio is still thriving. Just like in previous times of historical significance, the airwaves are a trusted source for news, as well as an opportunity to tune in and stay in touch with the rest of the world. It’s a connection to the national consciousness. And BBC’s radio stations are leading the way with The Great British Singalong – a weekly event that encourages everyone to get involved and make the social distancing divide feel a little bit smaller.
Live from the living room
Away from the airwaves, and with much of the world’s population locked down, live performances are being cancelled and postponed – which means our creatives are having to get creative. They’re combatting social distancing with social media, and we’re being treated to a host of amazing live performances streamed over YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Jack White’s Third Man Records is streaming sessions daily, and they’re joined by names like Garth Brooks, Neil Young, Metallica, and Christine and the Queens.
Taking this concept to the next level is One World: Together at Home, a live streamed benefit concert curated by Lady Gaga and set to take place on April 18th. Gaga’s line up will include Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Lizzo, Eddie Vedder and more – all in support of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 solidarity response fund, and to celebrate health workers across the globe. It will be televised around the world and is set to be an amazing display of commonality in trying times.
Another positive side effect of our collective lockdown is how much time we have on our hands. And with this extra time, many musicians are taking to social media to interact with their fans on a level they’ve never been able to before. Alongside many Twitter and Instagram Q and As, you’ll find #timstwitterlisteningparty – online listening parties curated by The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess. Just hit play on the designated album at the right time, listen along, and follow live tweets from members of the band and fellow fans. Oasis’s Definitely Maybe has been given a spin, with albums by The Libertines and New Order set to follow.
As a business that understands the power of music, PHMG has been running our own musical initiatives to help both staff and clients through the COVID-19 pandemic – one of which is the launch of our Spotify account. Our composers have created playlists to support staff in a range of scenarios, from zoning in to working out. But most importantly, as we’ve all witnessed recently, music plays a vital role in helping us stay together even when we’re working apart, and by following, sharing and listening to these songs, we hope we can achieve that same unity.
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