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The Stormy Seas of Artistry........

Like many people over the last six months I have experienced a complete 360 degree turnaround in work/home/location. I cant pretend its been easy, but rather like being in a large whirlpool that spun me around many times before spitting me out into a new life and a whole way of seeing the world around me. I now understand what Christopher Columbus meant when he said,

' You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore'

Sometimes we need to be literally picked up and hurled forwards into new pathways that are not yet visible, but have been calling us softly for many years. But we needed that force nine gale to give us a push...I certainly did. Maybe my life was too comfortable, too safe. I like edge. It makes me feel alive, gritty, feisty, determined and drunk on possibilities.

However, Covid 19 has many edges that feel far too jagged, far too dangerous, as musicians around the globe stare into a deep oblivion of far too little opportunity for work. The joys of making live music together are slowly being taken from us and being replaced by the mere imitations, as Zoom seems to be the new concert hall and the internet our main communication tool. I am hesitant to embrace and endorse Zoom as I feel so strongly that we must try to keep music LIVE. But that feels very idealistic as we face local lockdowns and more and more restrictions, A recent article in the Observer features Simon Rattle and Tamsin Little making the important point that whilst major orchestras around the UK have received their first government bailout grants, many freelancers are stuck in the no mans land of little security and dwindling live performance opportunities. By Christmas they state that up to 80% of musicians may have left the profession which I find horrifying to say the least. Are we all to retrain as cyber experts like ballet dancer Fatima in the recent ad that came out in the media. Years of slog and grit tossed aside. I sincerely hope not. And things are not as rosy as we think over on the continent as I read a Twitter post from a musician in Germany saying he is selling his instruments to feed his family. That post moved me to tears and called me to action.

It certainly looks like we will have to find creative ways to navigate through the new abnormal as musicians. Like many I am finding it increasingly difficult to watch the cracks grow in an industry that offers so much to people on a deeply spiritual and emotional level. I have spent many nights asking myself what I can do to help musicians find a way to keep making music...hence my new project here. Tied in with helping our community fight the rise in mental health issues in people of all ages. Resilience is the key here, as we find ways to keep going in the storms ahead. And compassion, as we flow towards some very challenging times ahead in an ever changing world......

I for one will not be giving up. Music is ingrained in my soul and is a portal for deep joy and fulfilment. I hope that I can offer some respite to the more vulnerable members of our community, though musicmaking and human contact.

I will give the last word to Ludwig Van Beethoven....

'Music can change the world'

And goodness do we need it to....

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