When Gokul Harshan took the stage with his band, Thekkan Chronicles, it was like a breath of fresh air for the members who were performing together after a long break. There was no crowd to cheer them on. Instead, the concert was streamed live on Facebook from the floors of Cameo Light Studio at Ulloor in Thiruvananthapuram.
With performance spaces falling silent during the lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus, the studio has gone in for arrangements to host live performances, conforming to COVID-19-related guidelines. The band’s concert was the second such event organised by Cameo.
“This is the new normal now. We are providing facilities to all kinds of stage shows and recitals and the like on our 1,000-sq-ft studio floor. For the concert, we had light and sound engineers, cameramen and a DJ wearing masks and sticking to social distancing. Two of us were in another section of the building, handling editing and uploading the content live,” says Sreekanth Nair, who runs Cameo. A light designer, Sreekanth says he has taken permission from the police department to host the events.
The first event at the studio was a performance by The Pinky Panther band, featuring up-and-coming musicians Pinky and Pia. While the studio provided everything free of cost for the first two events, Sreekanth says that some organisers/artistes have agreed to pay for the same. “Our plan is to conduct a one-hour event every Saturday. If they don’t want live-streaming, artistes can hire the studio to shoot a session to upload the content on their social media page,” adds Sreekanth.
- The second phase of online Soorya festival begins on June 1. Besides select programmes from the cultural festival and films, foreign content was also aired for 63 days in the first phase. “We sent the YouTube links to as many people as we can and our assumption is that at least 50,000 people across the world might have watched the programmes. Besides members of Soorya and their families, it was shared with all our friends and acquaintances. In the second phase, there will be dance and music performances, talks, plays, award-winning and critically-acclaimed films and short films. In addition, there will be fresh content, such as videos of performances shot at homes or studios,” says Soorya Krishnamoorthy, founder of Soorya.
- Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan has been holding an arts festival on its Facebook page since April 12. The cultural centre uploads videos by reputed artistes and up-and-coming talents shot at their studios/homes. Members of the public can also post videos of performances.
- Bharat Bhavan started its own YouTube channel to air the best videos it received for the ‘Karuthal Veedu’ online competition. It had 20 contests in 12 categories. This included theatre, music, dance, cookery, art, gardening, story-telling, poetry, pet care, filmmaking and so on.
Gokul says that with uncertainty looming over stage shows, the virtual concert came as a breather. “This is the best we can do in the current scenario. Of course, we missed out on interacting with the crowd and the energy we get from a live audience. That’s why we chose to sing melodies instead of fast numbers,” he says.
On Saturday (May 30), Cameo is hosting a concert by Kavalam Sreekumar at 7.30 pm. On June 6, Bharatanatyam dancer Parvathy Chandran will take the stage. A musical tribute will be paid to late composer Arjunan master by his grandchildren on June 13. Check out the Facebook page Cameo Light for details. Contact: 9447059136 or 9447399019