We’ve each marked the passage of time in our own ways during quarantine. Some of us have counted the days by the number of empty wine bottles in the recycling bin. Some of us have observed the weeks passing in a blur via the length of our hair, the growth of our houseplants, the expansion of our sweatpants collection. Meanwhile, Sofi Tukker has counted the days by the number of livestreams they’ve performed.
This past Saturday (June 20), the Los Angeles-based duo performed their 100th quarantine livestream. Since March, they’ve logged dozens of hours performing via Twitch from a setup containing their mixers, a pair of mics, an assemblage of potted ferns, a few funky lamps and whatever brightly colored clothing they’ve selected for the day. The experience, the group’s Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern say, has been as good for them as it’s been for the thousands who’ve tuned in to watch them play their distinctive mix of playfully scintillating house music.
Here, in their own words, the duo share 10 things they’ve learned by doing all these streams.
1. We learned to play songs that are still in progress.
We didn’t know we had this tool before, where we could play a track, get feedback and a vibe check, then go back into the studio to work on it. It’s how we finished the song “House Arrest,” which came out during quarantine.
2. We learned the healing powers of community.
Even in times when we’re not physically together, we can lean on the community to get us through, lift each other up and be there for each other every single day, no matter the circumstances. And that brings a kind of incomparable solace.
3. We learned how mutual the relationship is with the people who tune in.
We get as much from them as they do from us. We learned how to communicate with them in a way that feels authentic — through the chat room, through Instagram Stories and through personal messages that we’ve been exchanging.
4. We learned the importance of routine and consistently showing up.
Especially during this time off tour and with our fair share of emotional difficulties, the structure has been one of the things keeping us sane.
5. We learned that we can DJ for 100 days straight.
Not sure we would have believed ourselves if we had said we’d still be doing this 100 days in a row. And we don’t have any intention of stopping any time soon.
6. We learned that a lot of the music we haven’t played in years is still great.
We’ve dug deep into the crates to songs that used to be the mainstays, and they are still just as good.
7. We learned that energy can be contagious even through a computer screen.
Somehow, we still feel like we can read the crowd, even though there’s no “crowd.”
8. We learned the power of Twitch.
We’d never used the platform before, but that’s where a lot of our community gathers every day. Somehow, the platform is so conducive to people really connecting and getting to know each other.
9. We learned a lot about the individuals in our community.
After 100 days, we’ve developed such personal relationships with people who we talk to every day — a lot of whom we only know by their usernames.
10. We learned that we’re all freaks.
We accidentally came up with a name for the community: We call it the “Freak Fam,” which came from the fact that a lot of the songs we were playing had the word “freak” in it. We have gotten to know a lot of people watching who are freaks just like us. The opportunity to be a freak together every day with people all around the world is powerful.