I am presuming, if you are reading this, you are at home….where we are all supposed to be right now. Unless you are an essential worker, and if you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are helping save our world. But I digress…
Look around the room where you are right now. Are there paintings or pictures on the wall? Photographs in picture frames with scenery or smiling faces? What do you hear? Is the radio on, or do you have a playlist going from Spotify or Apple Music? Or perhaps the TV is filling your head with pictures and news?
Now, imagine for a moment that everything related to art and music has vanished. The pictures of your kids or parents, the painting that your daughter did in grade school, the incredible tune by Catherine McClellan and Tara MacLean…https://www.entertainment-focus.com/music-section/music-news/catherine-maclellan-and-tara-maclean-team-up-for-new-song-this-storm/ Or anything else you might see or hear that has its genesis in art. All gone.
What does it feel like? Empty? Vacant? It is as if the colour has been drained from your room, from your being, from your life. What do we have left if it is gone?
As a planet, we are experiencing trauma right now. As a country, our anxiety is compounded by the tragedy just experienced in my home province of Nova Scotia. It is like a giant rug burn on our souls and hearts, and each breath hurts just a wee bit.
Music, as a performance art, is healing. It is a form of communication. It tells a story and allows us to share experiences. It brings grace into our world and into our souls. And music makes us pause and listen. It is those healing pauses that we need now.
I spend a lot of energy bringing wonderful musicians to Belfountain to play their instruments, sing their songs and to share their stories. I am not a social scientist, but I know this to be true: when I look into the faces of people who are listening to this music, they are happy, they are at peace and they are connected to the musicians and to one another. What a joy to help make all this happen!
But like many of us, musicians are currently out of work. The majority of many touring musicians’ livelihoods come from their performances. They get some of the ticket money, sell a bit of swag and CDs, and move on to the next performance. But that’s not happening now. And gatherings where our hearts can be lifted by their music will not take place for many, many months, meaning the summer tour season will leave them with no income.
I have been musing over how much money I am saving by not going to coffee shops, not spending much on gas, and not going out for any meals. I am certain that it is significant. And I am also spending my time watching incredible performances online with ever so many musicians – Dave Gunning, John Wort Hannam, Joe Crookston, J.P Cormier, Rose Cousins, Laura Cortese, Ailie Robertson. They set up a Paypal account and they are able to perform for us while splitting their proceeds with homeless shelters, Feed Nova Scotia and others who need funding as well.
Ryan Heerschap of I Book Shows http://www.ibookshows.com/worked with a developer to create a platform for artists to do live stream concerts at http://concerts.ibookshows.com/login. It’s a pass-the-hat type show and a safe and easy way for you to make the donation. What a great idea. And there are more sites like this out there….check out other Facebook live shows.
And think about contributing please. Take that coffee money and put it to good use. I bought a milk frother before this insanity all happened so I could have yummy coffee in the comfort of my own kitchen. So now I take $3.00 every day and put it in a jar – and then donate that money to a musician when I have saved up $20. It’s not much, but it’s something.
I want to support our musicians so their music can continue to heal us all.
Perhaps you could do the same.