What is your name, age and artistic background?
My name is Daniel Padrão, I’m 30 years old. I work with musical theater, show production, composition and musical performance projects.
What is your current activity?
At the moment I’m a musician, producer, music teacher and director.
Which art projects were you involved during the pandemic? Did you have to make any adaptations for the online context? How was the adaptation? And what was the main challenge faced?
I was one of several voices in the single ‘Cuida de Mim’, that counted with the participation of artists from Sta Maria da Feira, a city in northern Portugal.
I’ve also participated in Cultur#ACT (a programming grant for cultural projects for independent artists and companies in the cultural sector, exclusively local) – with the projects Colourblind (music) and Silvestre, O Só (street theater).
I also staged and produced the Halloween play ‘A Arte, a Obra e a Maldição’ that was part of the GERMINAR – PRIMÁRIO project.
I did three single live online performances in my social networks and some live performances in ceremonies and restaurants.
I also started to record my first EP with four original songs that were in a drawer waiting for the right moment to ‘hit the streets’.
What were the technical or general supports needed to the work creation? What digital resources and tools were needed? In what ways were partnerships important in the face-to-face context and/or might be now, under the current circumstances?
In the pandemic context everything related to technology in terms of sound/light recording and access to streaming platforms had to be overrated.
Audio recording software managed to save some face-to-face rehearsals and the constant investment in project promotion material – particularly for live music at weddings. It was an option to be taken so that many of the projects remained operational, even without live performances.
To this end, support from the local municipality and partnerships with associations such as Quimera, Grupo Gólgota, and Cirac were essential in fund raising to publicize the work done so far and in the construction and enrichment of new projects.
What are the main differences between acting in person and online? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each model?
One of the biggest differences – after 15 years of live music making – was the silence, the lack of face-to-face interaction and warmth of the audience.
In technical terms, all the logistics regarding sound, light, image, place with access to the material, internet access and streaming platform had to be thought out and gradually improved.
One of the few advantages of the online format over the face-to-face one that I highlight is the learning and the ‘reinvention’ process – which later manifested itself in the adaptation of the media used in the distance format to the closer one.
But there is nothing like a live performance.
What are the biggest challenges for art and artists in general in this new context?
Starting from the beginning. The new market research. The feeling of starting from scratch and realizing what has changed and who has changed in your old route of establishments – for those who play live. Many times the very change of requests and events includes an adaptation and reinvention of musical projects and repertoire (which for those who live from this is not new) but this change this time was mandatory so that you don’t want to stagnate and leave your activity completely aside.
What suggestions do you want to give to other artists, to make their work sustainable in the face-to-face and online contexts?
Don’t be afraid to change. There are always things to learn, repertoire to study, instruments to master, and new stages to step on. There is room for everyone, form partnerships. For those who don’t master much technology (like me), ask for help. There are always new things popping up, you just have to take a chance and not be afraid of being different.