It's not clear whether a series of socially distanced concerts in Bloomington-Normal lifts the spirits of the musicians or the audience more.
Sharon Chung plays the violin in the Antiviral Musical Collective, a trio doing gigs at front doors and in driveways.
Chung said this is not what she thought her music career would be like, but it's what is needed right now. Early during the pandemic, Chung said she had an existential moment or two, wondering whether if she had no audience, was she really a musician.
She said the fare the group plays is not difficult. They can’t rehearse in close quarters. But it is playing. There are physical challenges, too, in chilly temperatures and rain. Wooden instruments don’t like big temperature swings or changes in humidity.
"There was one moment when a huge gust of wind came by and actually blew my bow off the string. In all my years of being a professional musician, I have never experienced that before," said Chung, noting it would be difficult to have a group larger than three.
"I don't think I can because that means we would have to sit farther apart from each other. The trio, I think, works. Sometimes it's a little hard to hear each other. When you are six feet apart, it's a little difficult with ambient wind noise, and so on," she said.
The Collective also does 15-minute musical postcards for special occasions at front doors.
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