In mid March this year, like many who work in similar places and ways to me, my workload dropped off a cliff, and since then, we've had trials of another kind and been touched by the pandemic in ways that I wish we hadn't. It's been a long four months of trying to help, trying to keep it all together for everyone else, and for myself. I have struggled with feelings of every kind, anxiety over work, lack of productivity, the loss of family and friends in both a very real sense and a metaphorical loss. The loss of the hug, the face to face connection which I realise is so important to me and my work.
I'm not too worried though, I'm aware of my own privilege, that there are more important things in life than productivity, and I’m also still also always looking for ways to work with other people, artists and communities to make fun, serious, important and engaging work. I've been exploring and trying to understand the world in the only way I know how, through collaboration and my music.
Despite feeling massively unproductive, I've also done a few real, physical bits and pieces. I was successful with my bid for ACE emergency funding and as a result have been able to spend some time tidying up compositions for publication and looking into getting some of my work published. I've set a poem for 4 voices, at the time written as a memorial for my Father in Law, as a hopeful comfort for my family, and it helped me to process that distant loss too. Unfortunately it now stands as memorial for my Mother in Law, and a close family friend. A record of a time that is almost too much to bear, but that at the same time feels unreal.
During this time, I also started stitching, slowly, and mindfully, seemingly without purpose, until I realised I was stitching a score, that the shapes and colours I was putting onto fabric, were sounds in my head. The words unspoken, the screams of frustration, the tears and the laughter of time together and apart. Something will come of this 'Covid' Score but not just yet. When we are ready....