Online stage for young musicians
20 October 2020

Online stage for young musicians

A music videography program is supporting local youths to showcase their art.

Young artists are using social media to share their music performances recorded in a videography session at Base 10 Youth Centre, going some way to surmounting a loss of live performance opportunities this year.

The video program was funded by the Music Development Office, part of the state government’s Department for Innovation and Skills. The footage, which is being released on the Onkaparinga Youth Facebook and Instagram pages, is supporting about 25 young musicians involved in the Base 10 social club to promote their work while COVID-19 restrictions are keeping performance venues closed. The musicians include band members, hip hop artists and solo performers.

Using the grant budget, the artists were each given 30 minutes to perform as they wanted. The artists had several songs filmed and edited, including a multi-camera angle recording.

“The videography sessions were a great learning experience for some of the younger performers who were thrust into a more professional environment as a result of the filming,” says Youth Music Project Officer Travis Demsey.

Some of the grant money was used to pay each artist for their performance.

“For many of these young people, this would have been their first paid performance,” Travis says. “The grant is a win for our young people because many of them had been working towards a performance that was effectively put on hold.”

Local guitar teacher and musician Sam Werner was among the group involved in the videography sessions. Prior to venues closing, Sam self-accompanied his singing performances in McLaren Vale wineries and at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre. He says having his performance recorded will provide him with promotional materials that he can use to grow his business.

“The filming gave me the opportunity to showcase a range of skills,” Sam says. “Preparing for the video pushed me to demonstrate my electronic equipment that I don’t often use at gigs.”

While opportunities for artists to perform live remain distant, Travis is mentoring young musicians on skills such as using a computer, working from home effectively, and making the most of their equipment.

“The reality is that if bigger live performances are allowed in another couple of years, it will still be seated in most instances. The best way for artists to showcase their work now is to share it on social media,” Travis says. Travis says the music industry has probably never had to change as much in 100 years as it has this year.

“The ability for artists to make money has been removed because people don’t pay for music anymore. It used to be about live touring and selling the t-shirts and merchandise, but that’s gone for the foreseeable future. The only way for artists to get themselves out there now is to go direct and bypass the wholesaler and build their own product, putting it out there for the world to judge.

“Remuneration will still be tricky, but at least artists can get more people hearing their music and looking at their content.

“We don’t know what happens after that. The whole music industry is searching for answers. Videoing and live streaming is the answer for now,” Travis says.

People aged eight to 25 years who are looking for social inclusion and skill-based learning within the music industry are invited to join the group at Base 10.

“Our artists are so passionate about what they do,” Travis says. “Music is the reason they came to Base 10, but the social aspect is why they stay.

“I say to other young people in our region, come into Base 10. It’s a safe space where everyone can be themselves. Music is an amazing healer, like all art. We’re here to support you.”

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Local musician Shaun Vale will use footage from the videography session to promote his talent (left); Ella Riggs, Shaun Vale, Travis Demsey and Sam Werner share skill-based learning within the music industry.

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