TwoSet Violin - which consists of Australian violinists Brett Yang and Eddy Chen - was gaining momentum as a live act. Founded in 2014, TwoSet was known primarily for their hilarious viral Youtube videos that depict life as a classical musician and have reached some five million viewers. But in 2017 their act grew to include more in-person performances. That's when they started traveling all over the globe to perform live shows for their first world tour, which was completely financed through crowdfunding.Before the pandemic, classical comedy duo
Their second world tour, however, hit a major roadblock: COVID-19. Scheduled for 2020, those plans fell victim to global lockdowns and limitations. But there is good news: TwoSet has regrouped to create a "Virtual World Tour" which will take place December 28-29, 2021, online. Tickets go on sale today; click here for more information.
"We knew that we didn't want to rush this, and so we took our time to plan for this world tour," Eddy said. "Lots of people were doing livestreams, but we felt that there’s more that we could do in the classical music space, to make our content unique and interesting."
The new show will feature an all-original script, broadcast live from a concert hall, direct to three different time zones (Americas, Europe/Africa and Asia/Australia/New Zealand), so music fans from all over the world can experience the tour.
Last week I spoke to Brett and Eddy about the new Virtual World Tour show, about how the pandemic affected them, and about their line of TwoSet Apparel -- all the nifty classical music-geek T-shirts and other stuff they have created for lovers of violin and classical music.
Laurie: It must have been really difficult when the pandemic stopped your 2020 World Tour before it began. Were you able to keep anything from those plans, or is the upcoming virtual tour an entirely different show?
Brett: To be honest, it was a little bit frustrating at first because so much time was spent preparing for our 2020 World Tour. When COVID first hit, we had just decided then to postpone it, but quickly realized that the pandemic was not going to be over very soon. Since early 2021, we still saw no opportunities to do the world tour, so we started thinking about what else we could do to reach out to all our fans.
Naturally, the virtual tour felt like a very cool project to do! It’s completely new to us so we’re very excited to share this experience with everyone. Oh, yes the virtual tour will be completely different to the original tour we had planned to do! Totally brand-new content, and we're working with a full production set-up.
Laurie: The pandemic made it a little hard to feel motivated (at least for me!), with so many playing opportunities shut down. How did you guys keep motivated?
Eddy: We were quite fortunate to have always been online, so even though our opportunities to perform live were gone, we still had a lot of stuff to do. Ironically, I think the pandemic made us even more motivated to make things happen! I’m an introvert so staying at home didn’t really affect me too much! However, I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of quarantining in general.
Laurie: Did the pandemic change your sense of humor, or sense of priorities?
Brett: I don't think so. The pandemic didn’t really change our sense of humor, however it did give us time to focus on what was important to us. Such as spending time with family and friends. We also very much miss traveling and meeting all our fans around the world!
Laurie: What is your sense of young people's feelings about playing the violin and engaging with classical music right now?
Eddy: A prominent teacher we know told us that during the pandemic, most students practiced more and therefore have improved a lot! Classical music will always have a place for everyone and we really want to continue making it more engaging for more people.
Laurie: This is a virtual World Tour, but do you have plans for an in-person world tour? When can we expect to see you in, say, Los Angeles? :)
Brett: Haha, yes possibly! We had such a fun time in LA on our last tour we definitely wouldn’t miss the chance to go there again!
Laurie: Who came up with the designs for your TwoSet Apparel? Are there any stories behind the designs?
Eddy: We worked on the design with our team.
Eddy: The story behind our brand is quite simple - growing up, we always felt that there wasn't a fashion brand that represented authentically who we were, as musicians, and TwoSet Apparel aims to change that. Our designs often contain musical references or homage to a particular piece or composer like Holst's Planets, Debussy's La Mer, etc. Basically, things we love to wear, and hope that musicians and music-lovers alike feel proud to put on!
Laurie: Anything else you would like to add?
Brett: Shoutout to all our fans for believing in us. We really can’t wait to do the performance live! :)
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