Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore released Silver Ladders, her full-length follow-up to acclaimed album Hundreds of Days, back in October 2020 during the first stage of the pandemic.
Since there wasn’t the possibility of touring or playing live at the time, Mary decided to debut the songs on Bandcamp Live and was one of the first artists to use the platform.
“During the livestream I felt really, really happy because I had just been by myself for so long in my apartment. Just making music and collaborating feels like normal, it’s my happy place. I think that’s the main thing, it just felt really fun. Especially because a lot of our friends from all over the world were watching. The surprise for me was to just see how organic it fell. And I think over other livestreams that I’ve done, I like this one the best. ”
The live show was a collaborative effort with her friends Julianna Barwick and Walt McClements who (whilst testing regularly for Covid 19) rehearsed and performed the music from the album in Barwick’s living room. Another friend monitored the chat room and people from all over the world watched the show.
“One of our friends was monitoring the chat room, so she would ask people questions like ‘Where are you from?’ and you could see in the chat window that everyone was responding and loving it. It just felt really communal in a really isolating time. I could also see people buying the merch. That was really cool, I think I sold a lot of stuff because people could see that things were selling and they were inspired by other people buying the stuff to actually buy during the show.”
General admission was $10, which is the average price fans pay for a ticket. The technical setup was minimal, using Mary’s laptop speakers and a portable PA, but, as you can hear from the clip, the performance sounded great.
“I’m not very technologically savvy but I overcame that trepidation, because Bandcamp Live allowed me to have a couple of practice runs with sound and setup. It was technically more simple than other livestreams that I’ve been a part of to get good sound and to interact with the audience.”
We asked Mary what she felt the biggest benefits were to livestreaming, now that she’d experienced it for herself.
“I haven’t done extensive touring in small places, and people could attend the show and see spontaneous, happy accidents, or just the way our brains were working, without them having to drive hours to a big city. I can see it extending on into the future, like after COVID times, because anyone can do it at home.
“I feel like eventually, it’s going to have to be a hybrid of live shows and livestreaming. For people that have a kid at home and can’t go on tour, or someone who lives in a small town and doesn’t really know how to tour, you could still play and communicate with your audience in this intimate way. It transcends geography. I feel like it’s just going to be really great for everybody to be able to have access to. It’s really exciting.”
To find out more about Bandcamp Live or schedule a livestream click here.