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The current global situation is unprecedented to everyone, leaving most of us to ourselves – not just on personal terms, but on emotional and professional as well. Artists all over the world are experiencing never-before seen changes across the various industries (music, applied arts, media arts and performance). Even though we undoubtedly know that these times will leave their mark on social, financial and psychological scales of various sizes, I find myself asking how will they affect me as a person?
For many of us, the way we see ourselves as people includes without a question our creative side. So, without looking over this, let’s pose this question again: how will the period of the Covid-19 pandemic influence the way I create music and the way I reach out to the world?
As a young, independent artist, it’s impossible not to feel the ripples of the larger music industry collapsing. Many record labels that rely on royalties and record sales and production are finding more and more difficult to distribute their product. Which in turn causes a growing financial fallout for them and their signed musicians and a major turn towards music streaming platforms.
Yet, many of us who are independent of any strings are presented with an opportunity to step up on the music-streaming scene. I currently find myself urged to explore the possibilities of the digital music-streaming. During those past weeks, I have performed many times live from my room, through livestreaming and have received phenomenal feedback from my listeners. It wasn’t just me all the times: I reached out to other musicians -some I had played with before, some for the first time- and we threw together some impromptu jamming sessions through video calling. And this is only the tip of this.
For example, I have currently collaborated with a therapist to create a guided meditation practice based on my music. Our goal is to create something that will be reaching out to people who right now want to turn to a more spiritual experience, so they can alleviate their stress and anxiety.
Then, there’s the question of what will follow. I think that if one can afford time as a resource, they should spend some time searching. Many institution and initiatives have kickstarted to organise small concerts and events so we can get back on our feet again.
I cannot come and tell you that this is the time to only turn to music, to only use for online marketing, or to just sit and wait this one out. I cannot do that because I do not know what to do myself. But I personally see this as an awakening to an opportunity on how far we can go, with our music and with ourselves. This time is a chance to come closer and tie our bonds, not as an industry but as a community. I would like to think that during this cocooning, we’re shedding our former “skin” of competition and grow into a new one of solidarity and support.
I have gotten the chance to meet and interact with our peers in a way that I would not have considered possible before this. Yes, the physical presence might not be there but we are under no circumstances alone. This awakening I mentioned earlier does not necessarily relate to our profession view of music, but to our emotional and human one.
Between these and other thoughts, I realise that I am fortunate enough to be healthy and able to create during this period, something that not to be taken for granted. I believe that if can support someone struggling with their art, health or emotions, now is the time to do it. We are creative humans given time, but we are also humans during a never-before human-lived experience. So, there is nothing wrong if someone cannot see this as an opportunity with potential.
There is no knowing or foreseeing where all this will take us, but just by coming together and seeing where we can go, we will reach quiet shores again. And if we don’t, it is because we aren’t there yet.