Making history, changing the rhythm of live music

MfM band members rehearsing in adherence to the conditional movement control order regulations in the studio.

PETALING JAYA: A groundbreaking virtual gig tonight involving a 10-piece band is set to inspire the rhythm of the new normal in local live music.

MfM Frontliners will be the first band in Malaysia to perform online in adherence to regulations under the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

Their 30-minute gig from Sound Innovations Studio in Kuala Lumpur will be live streamed over the Musicians for Musicians Malaysia (MfM) Facebook and YouTube at 9.30pm.

MfM, the engine of Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor (PPTS), initiated the “Isolation Music” online series on March 20, two days after the nationwide movement control order came into force.

Over the last 50 days, some 20 young and seasoned self-isolated musicians have gigged from their living rooms to help lift the spirits of people stuck in their homes.

Today, Covid-19 rules come into play when MfM Frontliners perform at the studio amid tight regulations to mitigate coronavirus risks.

Pianist Eddie Zachariah is one of 10 members of the MfM Frontliners band.

Sound Innovations owner, Stanley Edward, said the preventive measures include studio sanitisation, individual screening and social distancing.

Stanley said his firm was sponsoring the ‘MfM Show’ in the hope that it would set a trend for virtual gigs involving bands in the absence of venues.

He was confident that such events would attract sponsorship and earn income for musicians and support personnel who have been financially battered by the pandemic.

PPTS president Francis Danker said it was encouraging that musicians “have gained confidence, learned to adapt and embraced the digital platform in a short time”.

In thanking Sound Innovations Studio for its support, Francis hoped tonight’s show would draw the attention of the government and sponsors to take it to the next level.

MfM band member, keyboardist/vocalist Kudin Ramly, termed live streaming from the studio as “changing the rhythm of the new normal”.

Guitarist/vocalist and PPTS secretary John Sham said since there was no reference to such a show, the association had to explore various aspects of safety and practicality.

Getting it right at the back end: Bassist Jimmy Loh (right) and keyboardist Kudin Ramly (centre) observing a sound engineer at work.

“It has been a big challenge for the team as it required mitigating Covid-19 risks, adhering to health guidelines and putting the show together to achieve optimum standards,” the ex-RMAF Lieutenant Colonel said.

MfM pianist/keyboardist Eddie Zachariah said tonight’s studio session would be a bright reflection of musicians coming together to find a way out of these darkest hours.

  • MfM comprises Francis Danker (percussions), Edwin Nathaniel (drums), John Sham (acoustic guitar/vocals), Kudin Ramly (keyboard/vocals), Eddie Zachariah (keyboard/piano/vocals), Amizan Arrifin ( keyboard/vocals), ‘Lord’ Lokman (electric guitar), Jimie Loh (bass), Brenda Lee ( vocals) and Kyra Neng (vocals).
  • “George Benson of Malaysia” Jordan Rivers who has played alongside greats such as Randy Crawford, Randy Bernsen and Dave Koz will open the show at 9pm.
  • Guitarist/keyboardist Christopher James Estrop, from Penang, is the final act at 10pm.

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Musicians for Musicians Malaysia