August 9, 2011
The US DIY artist tells all on her pioneering use of "Hangouts" to play live to 9000 people via Google's social network
My name is Daria Musk. I’m a girl, a singer/songwriter who has been living in the woods in Connecticut, USA. I’ve been singing for trees, driving an hour to New York City to pour my heart out in noisy bars and rock clubs, grateful for every chance to pick up my guitar and play for someone… And dreaming that maybe if I worked very hard and got very very lucky, maybe one day I could sing for people all over the world.
In three days Google+ changed my life, my heart and my career overnight and turned my dreams into virtual reality.
A few weeks ago my older brother called from California and said, “Do you need an invitation to Google+? Maybe you could be one of the first musicians on there.” I was on my way to a performance, ready to lug my amps through a downpour of rain and I said, “What’s Google+? I’ve got to get to my sound check!”
At the time I had no idea that conversation would lead me on a fast-track path to finding the most beautifully brilliant, totally supportive and effortlessly global community of people I’ve ever encountered and that I would soon be playing for all of them live from my producer’s recording studio tucked away in the forest of a small town miles and miles away from them all.
On July 16th I had only a few people “circling” me on G+ when I launched my first G+ Hangout Concert. A Hangout is feature where you can live video chat with up to 10 people at once… That night I held what has now been officially called the first pro-level Google+ Hangout Concert. Word spread so fast that within minutes there were so many hundreds of people from all over the world trying to get into the concert that Google’s top engineer Chee Chew and others began adjusting the tech on the fly. They daisy-chained the hangouts on their computers to work around the 10 person limit and get more people in!
“Audience” members also came up with an etiquette of “rotating” in and out of the 9 “front row seats” inside the Hangout to let other people interact with me where we laughed, marveled at the technology and became friends as I played and sang through the night. It was my first time having an audience “lined up around the block” waiting to hear me perform, so I played for 6.5 hours straight!
In one night, I toured the world.
International press and blogs started writing about what had happened and a week later on July 23rd, we played our 2nd Hangout Concert and this time it was live-streamed so that anyone could watch from their computer even if they couldn’t get into the jam-packed 10-person Hangout. That night 9,000 viewers from 100 countries watched me play live!!!
The G+niuses (what I call these amazing fans) even created a map where they’ve tagged themselves in our global audience: www.whatcityisyourbedin.com
As night turned to day for viewers in Europe, evening into the wee hours of the morning for me, and morning shifted to afternoon in Australia… I kept playing to see as many of their beautiful faces as I could. We played for 7.5 hours straight.
We played for guys in Sweden, ladies in London, a girl in the Dominican Republic, people in Argentina and Ghana and a mother and son in China. A hospital in Portugal fed the live-stream of the concert onto the screens in their ER room to cheer up patients and nurses. I saw little girls dance to my music on an Australian Sunday morning when it was Saturday night for me. I watched the sunrise in Norway through a new fan’s screen while I played my song called “Foreign Cities”. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
I can’t even begin to describe what it was like to connect with these amazing people all together all at once…. The distance between us disappeared…
During the second concert, I debuted a song called “+1 Me,” inspired by the stories of the first concert. You can watch it here:
Another song captured by a G+nius who was watching is called “You Move Me”:
I have been moved so deeply by this experience. I’m moved to my core – heart, mind, body and soul. I’m bursting with joy and gratitude. In the song I sing “All around the world, you move me.” It’s as if I wrote the words about this experience, before it even happened.
Now my life as a global music artist has begun, my phone is ringing off the hook, thousands of people from countries I’ve never visited are asking when they can buy my debut album and what more incredible evidence is there of how fast my life has changed than the fact that right now I’m typing a guest blog post for midem!
When asked what advice I can give other artists who would like to have their voices heard on Google+ and on the web, I’d offer the same motto I created for myself “Laughing In The Face Of The Lion”. It means approaching your life, art and career with fierce joy. Powerful enough to break through obstacles, fueled by love and gratitude and joy that make every moment fun and every song you sing a gift to others.
I’m just at the beginning of my journey and I’m so excited to learn with you, share these moments with you, play for you and work tirelessly for the rest of my life giving back to you through song.
DARIA’S HANGOUT CONCERT 3 ANNOUNCEMENT!
I’m thrilled to announce here that I will be holding my 3rd Hangout Concert on Saturday Aug 20th at 6pm Eastern Standard Time (US).
I cannot wait to meet you all at my 3rd Hangout Concert! My heart is forever yours.
Oh and midemblog’s James is right here on Google+, come join! We’ll have a midem page there as soon as they’ll let us