AUSTRALIA, NEW SOUTH WALES – 05-15-2020 (PRDistribution.com) — Each Friday Fiona Joy Hawkins puts on a fabulous dress and takes a seat at her grand piano to begin performing for an invisible audience of thousands.
There is no centre stage in a grand concert hall as she is accustomed to, no audience applause, no hair/makeup artist, nor is there a ticket box or ushers to seat the guests.
Instead, this contemporary pianist and composer is sitting in the lounge-room of her home in a small village in rural Australia, streaming her music via social media channels. Somehow these weekly concerts reach hundreds of thousands of listeners using an iphone, some bed-side lamps for lighting and offering an online “tip jar” to monetise her work.
“People are saying to me that they’re waiting every week for that half hour to sit and relax and feel like they can escape into a little live music,” she said.
With non-essential gatherings banned, the live entertainment sector has been thrown into free-fall. After moving past the initial shock, performers like Fiona Joy are finding strategies to keep their careers and incomes alive. It’s been a tough road, especially for those in regional areas or those relying on travel.
Fiona may be isolated from her fans, but she’s found many more; one of her streamed concerts gained an audience of almost 130,000 views. Unlike many high-profile artists sharing their music in casual attire in their living room, Ms Hawkins dresses as she would for a live show to capture the atmosphere.
“I’m getting all dressed up, I’ve got a PA system with reverb so listeners feel like it’s in a concert hall. It’s working really well, people are coming back each week,” she said.
The audience is given the option of “paying” for the concert via an online tip jar but it will be a long time before Hawkins’ income can return to where it was.
“I used to go to China once a year to tour for a month, and the US as well, so I can’t replace that,” she said. “Until flights and life in general returns to normal, I have to continue with what I’m doing. I can’t plan any concerts other than in my living room ” she adds.
Join Fiona Joy Hawkins for an intimate home concert on a rare Stuart & Sons piano every Friday SYDNEY time Australia 11am (AEDT) on her Facebook page @fionajoyhawkinsmusic
You can find Fiona Joy Hawkins’ Music to Dream to on all streaming platforms. Discover Ms Hawkins and follow on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/1UnEeCMhJgy2JrfmNX4v0d?si=9LkeULeDT3yiDBjWFcl6aA
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