At this very moment, musical duo Acoustic Element would have been touring Europe in the summer – playing to adoring fans at shows in Sweden, Austria and the UK. They would be serenading guests sipping cocktails while bathed in the light of a euro sunset. But these are extraordinary times, and the world has changed more than anyone could ever have imagined.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced Cape Town musicians Jody Abel and Callen Petersen to cancel their much-anticipated European tour; a pivotal move that would also mark their 10-year anniversary as Acoustic Element.
There were no more weddings to play at, no concerts to travel to, and no more fans to play for. But the true creatives that they are lived up to their billing and ventured in a direction filled with delightful surprises and the sweet sound of success.
As South Africa closed its borders, businesses shut down, people stayed at home, and life as we knew it ceased to exist, Acoustic Element came into their own by responding to the mood of the moment we’re all living through. They were among the first musicians in the Mother City to broadcast their performances to a wider audience online during the nationwide lockdown, by streaming live on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Twice a week, without fail, the cousins broadcast live from their apartment in Cape Town, with a backdrop no less spectacular than Table Mountain itself. The response was a resounding success.
“On a personal level, we felt the impact of Covid-19 immediately. Gigs were cancelled or postponed indefinitely, we couldn’t travel out of the country and no gatherings were allowed. But despite that, we still realised how fortunate we were to have the things that we do and to live in a beautiful city. There are so many people less fortunate than us, who are going through real hardships.
“We wanted to bring some joy into their lives, and lift peoples’ spirits in the best way we know how – and that is through the gift of music,” says violinist Petersen.
Through their unique violin-guitar-beatbox sound, the duo provided moments of hope and happiness at a time when South Africa and the world needed it the most. They brought families and friends together in the virtual world, while social distancing. Fans logged on with drinks in hand, from all over the world to watch them belt out unique renditions of Despasito, Senorita and Dance Monkey.
Now, after 30 shows and millions of views online, Acoustic Element are levelling up from a brand new stage at Solid Studios – kitted out in LED screens, high-tech lighting effects and new material to set this show apart from the rest.
On Saturday, July 25 at 7pm expect the favorites from Acoustic Element, but also prepare to be blown away by ALT EGO, the duo’s younger, vibrant sound that is making waves.
“The live shows have been phenomenal for us. Every week more and more people tuned in to watch us. We were able to simultaneously broadcast on all our social media platforms as well as that of our partners like Cape Town Etc and Wixworth Gin. We feel honoured to be able to perform for so many people, and it’s been amazing to see our fan base grow since we started doing the live shows. We can’t wait to perform for them again on the 25th,” says guitarist Abel.