Staying lit in dark times, lifting the spirits of our frontliners

Amizan Ariffin and Kyra; Eddie Zachariah; Scratchman John will be performing on Facebook Live tonight, and dedicating their songs to Malaysia’s frontliners.

PETALING JAYA: While the local entertainment industry has been decimated by the Covid-19 outbreak, the selfless show of compassion by battered musicians during these darkest hours is heartwarming.

In the forefront, is “Musicians for Musicians”, the engine of Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor (PPTS), that has set a trend for live online gigs from home to spur love and care for all affected by the scourge.

Their third edition of the “Isolation Music” series over Facebook Live tonight will strike a chord of appreciation for the frontliners in the war against the rapid spread of the disease.

The superheroes who keep the nation going include doctors, nurses, first responders, public health workers, police, military and fire and rescue personnel, social volunteers, pharmacy staff, supermarket, grocery store and petrol station workers, drivers, truckers, factory workers, delivery people, cleaners, public transport workers, airline staff, farmers and security guards.

Ipoh guitarist Brian Matthew Dourado will be dedicating songs to Malaysia’s frontliners.

PPTS deputy president Edwin Nathaniel said there was no better evidence of humanity than the sacrifices frontliners were making in this crisis.

“While we fear for our livelihood amid financial uncertainty, we have a role to play to alleviate the stress of social distancing and lift the spirits of those in the front line who are helping to keep society going,” said the veteran musician.

Society has responded positively to the “Isolation Music” series with last Saturday’s sessions attracting more than 60,000 viewers. On the first day, there were 6,000 views.

Regular “Isolation Music” performer, Eddie Zachariah, hoped the virtual gigs would also spur Malaysians to support the vulnerable such as low-income families, the elderly and the homeless “who are at their last straws”.

Keyboardist Amizan Ariffin, who performs with his wife Kyra, said while events and club/pub gigs vanished overnight and there was no income for musicians, he relished in bringing joy and hope during this “uncertain, tough and dangerous period”.

Catch guitarist Ronnie Felix of the Falcons performing tonight.

Clearly, the Covid-19 crisis highlighted the glaring absence of a safety net for talents in the creative industry.

“People in our world have a precarious life. Most have a month before they’re in serious financial trouble,” said PPTS president Francis Danker.

Danker said while the association was working on taking the plight of the musicians to the government, the “Isolation Music” series will remain a platform to spread cheer, hope and faith.

So, tonight from the comfort of your living room or bedroom, let’s again unite humanity at a time when many may feel isolated at home.

And let’s pray for the safety of the heroes who are helping to battle the contagion as it spreads across the country.

‘Musicians for Musicians’, is the engine of Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor, and has set a trend for live online gigs from home. (PPTS pic)

The key musicians who will livestream their performances on Facebook regularly with guest artistes from 7.45pm are:

  1. Guitarist Scratchman John, who will dedicate “Kau Ilham Ku” to the frontliners tonight.
  2. Pianist/Keyboardist Eddie Zachariah.
  3. Keyboardist/pianist/guitarist Ahmad ‘Lord’ Lokman Ismail.
  4. Keyboardist/pianist Amizan Ariffin and his vocalist wife Kyra.
  5. Ipoh guitarist Brian Matthew Dourado.
  6. Guitarist Ronnie Felix of Falcons band fame.