The Corona virus crisis started as a distant threat that at first seemed far away but by now has thoroughly changed our lives. The newspapers are full of reports and data, some correct and others not so much. Few go deeper into the feelings and reflections that people might have. The type of emotions that touch you to the very core. It is all a bit abstract -- until it hits you when it affects a family member or a friend. All of a sudden it is all too close!
This was my starting point when I decided to create a piece of prog style music that would deal with the different parts of the crisis as we have experienced them so far. The approaching danger, the start of the lockdown, the arising questions: Will the world change? When will it end? The funerals and the separation from loved ones that have fallen sick, the technical questions and in the end the most important question of them all: What have we learned?
Writing the music started with a sample to which I added various arrangements. After completing that part I deleted the sample. Next, emerged the rock style “Lockdown” theme that is repeated once more later on in the piece. The central element is the more emotional part. The various arrangements serve to take you through and let you experience the different sensations connected with the crisis. The tenor sax solo -- actually done on a MIDI keyboard -- reflects this maybe the most. The Gregorian singing is a tribute to the people who lost loved ones in the crisis and addresses the pain people must have felt when not being able to attend funerals. There is praise for medical staff and for carers as they are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, frequently without sufficient protective equipment.
In the second “Lockdown theme,” I added emotional guitar melodies that try to express the sorrow and stress. Especially the part in the middle has a kind of “howling” solo that I added for this purpose.
After we have transitioned to the final part we come to a sort of a conclusion but not to an end. In our world everything is connected, and you can’t go it alone. The key question appears: What have we learned?
The project finishes with a heartbeat. It is our heartbeat, as without us this won’t stop but our lives must go on.
For the video I assembled about 200 photographs that I took over the last couple of years in various locations. I tried to find photos that show the emptiness of the Lockdown. Empty streets and squares. Superimposed over the photos are text labels that tell the story of our fight for survival.
I received a great deal of technical support for making this video from Mel Melcer for which I am very grateful.
It is hard to say to you, dear listener and viewer, “Enjoy” -- but I do hope this piece helps us all to process our emotions and gives a “place” to the questions, thoughts, and ideas that we might have.