There are times in life when everything can seem a little bit topsy-turvy, like when you’re a freelance musician and a deadly disease causes a global pandemic and destroys your entire industry. However, every cloud has a silver lining, so remember it’s precisely in stressful times like these that people find the true value in music…if it’s free.
“It is very difficult being paid not to go to work,” said John Man, an employee at The Tiny Violin Company, “so it is really priceless to have art and music to restore and ennoble my despairing soul. And by priceless I mean that I can access it for literally no price.”
Billy-Bob Businessman agreed. “I am willing to pay for things like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime because they charge me,” he said. “But now I can get opera, theatre, and classical music concerts for free because they don’t charge me. Is that what you mean by ‘value’?”
Some musicians are concerned that this new world of free online streaming may not be the solution everyone decided it was. “I don’t want to criticise my colleagues for doing what they love,” said Vladimir Vladovitch, a brooding pianist, “but it puts a lot of pressure on me to do what I love at a time when I don’t love much, like working for free, for example. I mean, am I crazy?”
“It is vital at a time like this for classical musicians to stay on point with their branding,” said Sally McNally, CEO of Arts Behemoth Inc. “And I mean ‘on point’ like the bloodied toes of a ballerina whose streamed live performances don’t earn her any royalties because we made sure to leave that out of the contract we gave her no choice to sign if she wanted to keep the job she doesn’t have now and may never get back when all this is over.”
Suzie McShoozie, a nurse who overworks for the NHS, is very grateful for all this free online content: “When I get home from a gruelling and overwhelming shift during which several people have died including some of my colleagues,” she said, “I am really desperate for some type of escape to release all that stress and tension, so this free stuff is really welcome.”
Vladimir nodded broodingly. “Well I guess there isn’t any dark humour in that,” he said.