I used to teach acting at a community college. The department where I taught was called “visual and performing arts.” The performing arts were vocal and instrumental music, dance, and theater.
While “performing arts” is no doubt an accurate description of what happens when the artist is in front of an audience, I prefer to think of them as “interpretive arts.” I like that term because music and theater performances require a two-step creative process. This is different from photography, illustration, painting, sculpture, and other visual arts, which involve a single artist producing a finished work based on a concept or idea they have devised themselves. There’s seldom a team involved in creating a work of visual art.
Since there’s not much live music being performed at bars these days, I’ve been watching artists stream live performances online, mostly on Twitch. There are so many great performers, and the benefit of watching them online is that you can see people you’d likely never have seen before. Suddenly, their local audience has become global.
Twitch was best known for the gamers who livestream their games to their audiences, but in the past couple of years it started to welcome musicians as well, and the pandemic has accelerated that considerably.
Most of the performers do covers of well-known pop songs, but some of them also write their own music. Like most indie artists, the quality varies, but it’s also given many artists an opportunity to have their music heard beyond their local coffee houses or bars.
One artist I’m enjoying from watching her Twitch stream is Megan Lenius. Her stream is a great place to start if you’ve never experienced live online performers; she’s funny and a great host, interacting with her viewers in chat. All of her original songs are great, but this one is in my head all the time now. Enjoy “Allison” by Megan Lenius: