For the past bunch of weeks, I’ve been partaking in a very mentally exerting, yet mundane, task…updating the scores and ...
When the COVID Pandemic began in earnest earlier this spring here in Toronto, I was inundated with a plethora of postponements, cancellations and uncertainties. I was also concerned for my music colleagues who were almost overnight faced with grave concerns for their livelihood. All I could think of doing to ease my own unease and give back to my fellow musicians was to simply compose. And for a 6-week period, I composed, composed and composed. That’s how the Music for Self-Isolation project was born.
The feedback this impromptu project has received has been beautifully overwhelming. As I ceased composing Self-Isolation pieces in early May, I thought hard about how I could continue the legacy of this project. It was nice to have so many musicians share their performances online, but it did seem a pity not to get the chance to hear more from those very musicians about their experiences and thoughts regarding the pandemic. This is how Stage 2 of Music for Self-Isolation was born.
Thanks to the Digital Originals grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, in conjunction with the CBC, I was able to secure funding to take this next step. I’m interviewing 8 musicians from Canada and abroad that posted video performances of my Self-Isolation pieces to learn more about how they have coped during their pandemic. Because of COVID, what are their hopes, dreams and fears for themselves, the arts and culture sector and for the wider world? I’m video recording these chats so I can share them with all of you. I’m also creating new electronic compositions that incorporate their spoken voice and their musical performance that I will be sharing in the coming weeks.
As I type this, I’m knee-deep in audio editing and really enjoying the process. I hope listeners will appreciate the insight of what goes into being an artist…especially during these extraordinary times. Based on my work on Stage 2 of this project, I’m certainly learning a lot and grateful for the experience. Stay tuned!
Musicians featured in Stage 2 of the Music for Self-Isolation project (left to right)
Top row: William McLeish, Larry Williams, Katherine Carleton, Scott MacInnes
Bottom row: Karen Wierzba, Jeanne Côté, A. Lish Lindsey, Nicola Mogavero