Updated: May 13, 2021
A Light in The Darkness
Original Sound Lounge (OSL) is the home for live original and independent artists.
OSL is all about creating and supporting the local original and independent artist community.
And this is not restricted to supporting in terms of music. OSL goes beyond and has been with artists through fire, through a pandemic and now through water. They together with the Mid North Coast Blues and Musicians Club raised A$27,000 at the start of the fire season. This was at Tele Point Sports Club which ironically is now underwater. COVID-19 saw OSL keeping hundreds in their jobs and coming up with innovative solutions for venues. What they give back ultimately returns to them and these same artists OSL had been supporting have stepped in post pandemic to support OSL. Having each other's backs is what is keeping the music industry afloat.
For OSL, they know everyone is in the same industry for years and it is by standing shoulder to shoulder that they can help each other rebuild.
Come Hell or High Water, the Music Goes On
Does it ever end? Fires, a world pandemic and now floods.
How can a working musician make it to a gig without having to battle the forces of Nature?
It has been a long, taxing year for everyone and musicians have been on a roller coaster with no end in sight.
Just when musicians managed to pick up the pace and started bringing their music to the public again, torrential rain flooded the Mid North Coast. Raining on one's parade is really not what we need right now.
With the floods, in the midst of rescues and evacuations, working musicians lost gigs while their supporting venues lost business as well.
Last year, the pandemic saw pubs, venues and hospitality places close and together with it, live music lost its voice.
With this neverending cascade of challenges, all one needs is one single light as a reminder to keep going. And that light came from the Original Sound Lounge. It was founded by local indie singer-songwriter Pam Hata, and it was Pam who stepped up to help musicians out with paid gigs through the creation of The Virtual Pub with a virtual tip jar.
She got another lightbulb moment to raise money through an auction together with her partner Kane VanChaos to raise money to help out venues that have previously supported Original Sound Lounge.
"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist." - Robert Schumann
The artists that make up the community that is the Original Sound Lounge are always ready to step up when the community needs help.
Whatever Nature throws our way, be it droughts, fires, viruses, floods, the music will go on.
Let the Music Play
The public is as much a part of the music as the musician is and in challenging and trying times, music is what brings people together to remind each other of their interconnectedness and shared humanity. As they say, music soothes the savage beast - music is what we use to soothe our babies, celebrate life's special moments and grief for what we have lost.
This is a time for the community to come together - there is something each person can do, whether it is going to gigs, buying music or merchandise, spreading the word to friends and family, sharing the music or simply, letting the music play and grooving to the beat.
Playing what Words Can't Express
It is difficult to express the extent of the grief the neverending round of crises has caused. Some artists have been so mentally and emotionally affected by everything that has happened that they cannot take to the stage to play. They have lost everything and are still reeling from what has happened.
To see one's home get swallowed up, picking through soggy memories that are going to turn into mould and grasping at precious belongings that are simply drifting away...and the empty terror of wondering what is left of one's home or what used to be home. The very place we think we are safe in where we build our lives with our families has been taken away. Very often, this is the place where creations grow, where experiences bring about inspiration. Home is what gives musicians the reason to keep playing music.
When that disappears, one is left with a gaping emptiness. It takes mammoth strength to still get up and play, and bring joy and hope to others who also need it. And this is not the first time musicians have been hard hit. Through drought, through fire, they have rolled up their sleeves, tuned their instruments, and got on stage to belt it out and lift people up. The music industry has had a rough number of years, and this year they still get no relief.