On Saturday, May 30th, over 70 artists and thousands of fans came together for Quarantine Comes Alive, a virtual music festival that raised over $150,000 for a litany of charities via the comprehensive PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The 15-hour live stream marathon featured virtual performances of music from around the world including a pair of songs by Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini, who performed live from their quarantine in Berkley, CA. The two musicians offered up a bilingual set for QCA, playing two songs in Portuguese between English interludes. Last year, Cressman and Faquini celebrated the release of their collaborative album, Setting Rays of Summer, which displays the duo’s world music prowess.
As Natalie explained to Live For Live Music,
I feel lucky to be quarantined with my musical partner, Ian Faquini, so that even though shows may be on pause, the music hasn’t stopped. In fact, we’ve been able to record almost an entire album’s worth of music during the quarantine, something that would have taken months to fit in our normally busy touring schedules. So, that’s definitely been a silver lining to this whole thing.
Normally Ian spends his summers in Brazil, and if not for Covid-19 we would be down there playing and hanging with our musical friends and mentors, so we were feeling “saudades” (Portuguese word for a mixture of missing somewhere/someone/something, longing, and sadness – no direct translation in the English language for it) when putting something together for QCA.
The two musicians dive right in, starting the set with a cover of the Dominguinhos song “Tenho Sede”, which translates to “I’m thirsty.” As Faquini delicately strums out the opening notes on his acoustic guitar, it is immediately apparent to those who know Cressman from her tenure with Trey Anastasio Band that this is a completely different animal. Noted Cressman,
We decided on a song from the northeast of Brazil by Dominguinhos called “Tenho Sede”, which translates to “I’m thirsty”. The thirst in the lyrics of desert flowers craving water are a beautiful metaphor for missing and longing for someone.
The duo then wrap the two-song set with their original “Terê” from Setting Rays of Summer. This song features Cressman far more prominently, as her trombone and Faquini’s guitar lightly dance together between verses in a foreign tongue. The lyrics tell the story of a young girl growing up in the favelas of Brazil. As Natalie explained,
The second song, “Terê”, is an original song of Ian’s that we recorded on our last record. It’s about a girl who is a victim of a shootout between police and the predominantly Afro-Brazilian communities who live in urban slums in Brazil called favelas. At the start of the song, the girl, “Terê” is just missing, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that she has been killed in the conflict. It feels like a fitting song for what is going on right here in the US, with all the recent killings of unarmed men and women of color. We’ll be sending any audience donations to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund to help support this very important cause.“
If you enjoyed the performance, Natalie and Ian ask that you make a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund here. Watch Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini perform for Quarantine Comes Alive.
Natalie Cressman, Ian Faquini — Quarantine Comes Alive — Full Set
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with PLUS1 and Nugs.TV, Quarantine Comes Alive was conceived as a way to celebrate and support musicians, provide fans with unique musical experiences from the comfort of their couches, and raise money for comprehensive COVID-19 relief during this time of uncertainty. All funds raised from the donation-based event will be split evenly between the artists on the bill and the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, which works directly with leading non-profit organizations like Sweet Relief, MusiCares, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, World Central Kitchen, Partners In Health, Trans Lifeline, and Backline to provide aid where it’s needed most. For more information, head here.