Music in Isolation
At school, isolation was something the teachers could put you into if you had been naughty. You were separated from your classmates in a dramatic demonstration that you posed them some kind of danger, either physical or moral, or both. In a strange twist of events, we are now in isolation not because we have been naughty, but because we are trying to be good. We are trying to slow the spread of this virus so that our much-loved NHS isn’t overwhelmed. We are trying to keep away from vulnerable people whom we could unwillingly infect and to whom the illness could be fatal. We are doing what we can to respond to a threat that we do not yet understand.
In the interest of staying sane in isolation, I have been posting a thirty second song on social media each day. Using the acapella app, I choose a short section of one of my favourite songs and harmonise with myself. Let’s face it, there’s not really anyone else I could be harmonising with at the moment. It has brought me routine, it has kept me practising the great healer that is creativity, and it has allowed me to enjoy engagement with my audience, at a time when all of those things are in jeopardy. I hope they are bringing some comfort to those who watch and listen to them.
Since all the trappings of being a professional musician have been taken away, I have found my music-making to be more precious than ever. It has brought into focus the reasons I sing, and write and play. Musicians make music because we cannot not make music. If we can’t do it outside, we do it inside. If we can’t share it with you live, we’ll share it with you digitally. We won’t stop. We can’t. Creativity – making music – has saved me from sinking under feelings of anger, helplessness, self-hatred, loneliness, frustration and sadness before. I am trusting that it will do the same now. There is a lot of chaos and uncertainty in the world, and in our minds, at the moment. But this much I know: music is magic.
You can listen to my small songs by following my social media accounts below. I am working on more ways to engage with you through music online. Keep in touch.