So, it’s been a while since my last post. Since March, the places and events where we share music have been closed, postponed, cancelled. It has been such a hard time for touring musicians and venue owners, and also for their patrons. And yet, many of us are finding ways to share music.
I have watched some great live stream concerts with virtual tip jars. I’ve participated in an on-line song circle – not exactly a jam since only one of us plays at a time, but still nice to have conversations and see familiar faces. To celebrate Hillside Festival , we watched pre-recorded videos of some wonderful performances and then had a small number of people – nicely distanced – around a campfire. Coming up next weekend is Play Music on the Porch Day – I envision people playing music from their balconies, front steps, driveways, and filling their neighbourhoods with music. (Visit http://www.playmusicontheporchday.com/ to learn more or to add your location to the music map)
It is clear to me that, even though current times has made it difficult to gather, live music is as important as ever:
The ability of music to lift spirits in times of uncertainty and grief.
The role of music in amplifying the call for human rights and solidarity.
The social interactions that are created and nurtured by making music together.
To quote songwriter and performer Alysha Brilla: “All these shut downs have confirmed the sneaking suspicion I’ve had my whole life that gathering together with music, dance and celebration are one of the best parts of the human experience.”
What can we do to help our musical community weather this storm? If you have stayed employed through the pandemic and have the means, consider making a donation to your favourite arts organization or festival. Support a musician by purchasing their music or buying a ticket to a virtual concert. Check in with someone you would have normally seen at a jam or song circle, share a story or maybe a song they are working on. Share your music whenever you can.
How have you been keeping your musical connections alive? Share ideas, links, upcoming events in the comments.