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Musicians survive pandemic with interconnected home concerts

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, November 22, 2020  /  11:04 am
Musicians survive pandemic with interconnected home concerts

Bonita and the HusBand. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Husband-wife duo Bonita and Petrus “Adoy” Briyanto Adi, who are the vocalist and guitarist of indie band Bonita and the HusBand, had a lot of plans for this year, including the release of a new album “Bonita Adoy Pram” and a tour across the country. 

However, the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to postpone their plans. 

“The last time we performed on stage was on March 11, it was in [creative complex] M Bloc Space [in South Jakarta],” Bonita and Adoy recalled during an Instagram Live with The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

They shared that they were supposed to perform at Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga, Central Java, on March 16, but it was canceled after the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We were supposed to start a tour in April, after launching the ‘Bonita Adoy Pram’ album that was released on March 19, but it was canceled,” shared Bonita. 

Since then, Bonita and Adoy have done most of their activities at home, including hosting virtual concerts.

Fortunately, the couple is no stranger to online live performances. 

In 2015, Adoy had begun hosting a live concert series at his home in Cinere, West Java, called Live at Rumah Bonita (Live at Bonita’s House), featuring a glittering array of musicians. 

In 2018, he came up with Festival Musik Rumah (Home Music Festival). 

The festival featured more than 90 musicians performing 45-minute to two-hour sets in different areas across the archipelago and abroad. The performers included folk band Nonaria (in Bintaro), guitarist Jubing Kristianto (in Jakarta), ethnomusicologist Markus Sirait (in Pamulang), Metta Legita (in Phnom Penh), the family band Sarigama (in Karanganyar), choir group Paduan Suara Dialita (in Jakarta) and many more. 

Read also: 'I feel like Dora the Explorer': Raisa shares slices of pandemic life

This year, once again, Adoy hosted Home Music Festival from August 21-23, albeit with several changes due to the pandemic.

Adoy explained that, in the past years, online was not the main feature of the festival. Moreover, the music performances were conducted simultaneously in several places.

“This year, it’s performed consecutively,” he said. 

Nevertheless, he mentioned that he did not find many challenges during the festival. 

“We were only hoping that there would be no power outage,” Bonita added. 

For them, home concerts were the best way to keep playing music earing some income during the pandemic.

Bonita said that, prior to the pandemic, the couple had regular shows in Salatiga and collected money through tip jars.

“We are now opening virtual jars [during home concerts],” she said, explaining that the audience could donate money through GoPay or BCA mobile banking.

Speaking about playing music in a time of pandemic, Adoy said there were many values to music, and all of them were rewarding. 

He noted that music was among the rewarding yet low-risk activities people could do during the pandemic. (jes)

Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.

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