This is a blog about composing during the Pandemic. But I want to start by saying that if you are in a position where your body / psyche is telling you to stop or slow down or do nothing, you should absolutely do that. You need to listen to you. I am not contradicting that impulse, I fully support it. This is about something different.
Caveat complete, let’s begin:
The first week or so of safer-at-home I didn’t compose. I did the bare minimum of work to keep the business going and that was it. I needed a moment to acclimate. But there came a point where I had to write. Not because there was a burning desire inside me to make music, but because I had work to do, deadlines approaching. I was immensely grateful to have any work, and I didn’t want to lose or delay the gigs because of my inaction.
So I started composing.
Some days composing has felt really good. But there have been just as many days where it has felt really difficult just to get started. There has been very few days where I am psyched to sit down and write. If I had my way, I probably would have simply dissolved into a state of stillness combined with binge-watching shows and constant eating. But that is a luxury I literally couldn’t afford.
As the weeks have gone by I have noticed a different feeling after daily sitting down and getting the work done. It is similar to the feeling I have in my body when I have gone for a really long walk. The satisfaction of using those muscles over and over again. Every day that I show up to work it feels a bit easier, a bit safer and creates a routine that is comforting and secure in this time of massive uncertainty.
Mostly I have been buoyed by the reminder that even when life is really stressful and chaotic, my ability to compose is STILL THERE. In fact it has been there for me through many hard times: when I was going through a divorce, through times of extreme grief, through times of financial hardship. My craft, honed through decades of hard work, is not a fair-weather friend. It is there for me regardless of how messed up life is.
That is a truly wonderful thing.