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Academics live-stream local music to beat virus shutdown

Northern Territory musicians given the chance to continue performing for the public

Charles Darwin University is live-streaming music from its Darwin city campus in the Northern Territory to give musicians and producers an opportunity to keep performing while live music venues are closed across Australia because of the Covid-19 crisis.

The concerts feature a different artist every week and are devised by Michael Vernau, a technical production lecturer at the university. The first concert, on 2 April, featured the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, pianist Chen Hui Tan and CDU violin tutor Tara Murphy.

“These concerts have been running for a number of years as part of our live production course, but this is the first time we have live-streamed the concerts for the wider public to enjoy,” Vernau said.

“The weekly live-streamed concerts are our way of bringing musical relief to our community and will give local musicians a chance to keep performing.”

Francis Diatschenko, a lecturer in contemporary music and a classical guitarist who toured with Indigenous musician Gurrumul Yunupingu, said the concerts would feature “a big variety of artists and musical talents”.

“Our local music scene is alive and kicking with innovative ideas and new ways of performing for the public. At CDU it’s no different and we are doing everything we can to support our talented artists,” he said.

Paolo Fabris, a vocal coach who conducts five choirs at CDU, said the pandemic had created “ingenious ways of sharing music”.

“Streamed concerts are quite incredible; you can play music from your lounge room and have someone enjoy that performance from their lounge room on the other side of the world.”