May 22, 2020

COVID Lockdown

We’re now in week 8 of the lockdown here in the UK and I hope that each of you have someone to turn to and are finding some joy and comfort in the small things.

These are the strangest times. Suddenly we’re confronted with the fragility of everything that we’ve known, including ourselves. So many people are suffering and struggling right now and too many have died. The world has become so much more frightening than it was. Each of us are faced with challenges but we are discovering that we are capable of coping with so much more than we ever thought we could. We are finding hidden strengths and rediscovering what is most important to us. Abandoning the superficial things that we relied on so much before. Hope burns in us all and will help us to be resilient as we face whatever happens next.

It may seem insensitive and unrealistic at this point to say that good can come from this but if you allow your imagination and creativity to wander you might be surprised. Change forces us to reevaluate and if we move with it, we can find new opportunities that we had never thought of. That has been my experience and I’m hoping that it will prove to be true now too.

So for myself, I’ve been diving deep into myself and only now do I feel ready to rejoin the world, if only on social media, which I had withdrawn from. Much of living has been put on pause, all my future plan’s shelved and I’ve grieved for them. It’s been a time for self reflection; a time to nourish and refresh; a time to face hard truths and think about how to prepare for what possible new futures await. For ‘normal’ life, will not be something we return to, not for a long time.

For those of us who work in industries that require an audience, the future looks pretty bleak right now. The economic pressures and poor audience numbers prior to the virus resulted in venues closing. Now, all remaining venues, from privately to publicly funded, are extremely vulnerable to permanent closure. Even when lockdown is ended, it’s hard to imagine that people will venture into confined public spaces with strangers to hear live music, watch a play or even go to the cinema, perhaps until we have all been vaccinated. The impact of this virus will mean huge numbers of artists abandoning what was already a difficult career in the arts. The cultural heart of our towns and cities is set to be devastated. A tragic outcome for everyone, as without the arts our lives will become smaller and greyer.

Fortunately, technology is providing us with a way to stay connected. It’s hard to imagine how much harder this experience would be without it. And so we look to technology to help the arts survive, with online concerts, gallery tours, teaching, etc, already happening. The online world is growing but I hope that it wont replace the live one after lockdown. It can’t replicate what it feels like to perform with an audience right in front of you, giving you energy and electrifying the atmosphere. There’s nothing like it. Just like there’s nothing like being in the audience with others, up close and personal, sharing a singular experience that can’t be repeated. As a performer, I need a live audience, they give me as much as I give them. But that’s not possible and so I’m preparing to join this new online cultural medium. Of course, I can’t have a band join me. The technology is not good enough yet to have us perform together from each of our homes, it would sound terrible as we wouldn’t sync. So, I’ll have to use backing tracks and also sing a capella. The first couple of shows will be a test to see how it works and I hope you’ll join me and give me feedback on what the experience is like.

I’m also scheduling some online workshops. One will work specifically on breathwork, which has huge health and wellbeing benefits. We will build and strengthen our breathing technique and use chants/mantras for relaxation, positivity and energy. Another will be a singing group open to all, from the total beginner to those who already enjoy singing. These will be fun sessions where some singing technique will be introduced as we explore and learn songs from different genres.

I’ll be using this website more now to share events such as the workshops above and at-home performances so please stay connected and register on the mailing list to be notified of dates.

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or thoughts on any of the above.

In the meantime, stay well and take care of yourselves and each other.

Peace and love

Cindy x