Reaching Out Online

So much has changed in the past several weeks, it feels like a lifetime has past. I am struggling to find the time and mental space to be creative. It’s certainly not easy and like many people, I think the only solution is to just carry on… So during the past weeks I have been working on several project ideas and compositions, testing my limitations, recording and mixing at home.

Reaching out online seems to be the best/ only avenue open to many of us during this period of isolation. Hideo Arai, the Tokyo-based movement artist and a good friend since 1999, invited me to collaborate on a short, online video ‘chat’. It was good to share some moments of connection with Hideo, despite our physical distance and the digital delay. We shared the video on YouTube.

People around the world are often at home due to COVID-19 infection control. I am also one of them. I started the improvisation session with ZOOM with my friend’s artist. I want to deliver a little love, energy and humor. It might be a little help, but I’m glad if you enjoy it. To “friends” at home around the world.

Hideo Arai

Additionally, I’ve been enjoying updating my SoundCloud page. I’ve added a ‘Live’ playlist, some compositions that found their way on to past recordings with various groups as well as some newer compositions for various projects.

One of the newer pieces I just uploaded was composed for ‘Uprooted’, Some Assembly Theatre Company’s 2020 production.
From their website:

Some Assembly began in 2002 with the Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group (RHYTAG) Project. Created by Valerie Methot, the project stems from her love of theatre and desire to provide opportunities for youth to write, develop and produce plays with professional artists.
‘Uprooted’ stems from conversations with over a hundred diverse youth who say they are anxious about climate change. ‘Uprooted’ is a theatrical multi-media production that strengthens response to climate change and promotes mental health management.

Sadly, performances of ‘Uprooted’ have been postponed for the time being due to COVID-19. It is difficult to imagine how and when things will return to some semblance of normal and public gatherings will resume, sooner than later, I hope. I contributed a couple of pieces to the production, including this one, entitled ‘March of Progress’:

Another interesting initiative recently presented itself, again in direct reaction to current social distancing measures. I was invited to participate in an online project entitled ‘Isolation Postcards’, which is now public on SoundCloud. Dan Lucka, who started the project, writes:

The project aimed to create a chain of communication between artists, musicians and non-musicians living in various countries and working in the field of art, sound and music. The first artist in the chain was required to compose a sound postcard within approximately one day, then invite and send this to a selected artist in another country. The process was repeated by each participant in the chain until the sequence of postcards came full circle.

The final playlist of postcards was created over a period of about 2 weeks consisting of ten pieces from ten countries. The pieces span a really wide cross-section of sound art, from environmental pieces to noise to more conventional compositions, with electronic sounds, acoustic instruments and everyday objects in the mix. I was preceded in the chain of postcards by John Sellekaers and once I completed my piece, I invited Ganesh Anandan to join the project.
My contribution is a short track called ‘Stars’.

Over the coming months, I will be adding more new music to my SoundCloud page, stay tuned.