A composer faces the emotional impact of the pandemic

Posted on: April 16, 2020

“This feeling? The one I’ve felt since … the day when New York City’s Mayor de Blasio closed all performance venues? It’s one that questions my sense of purpose as a composer,” writes Mary Kouyoumdjian in Tuesday’s (4/14) icareifyoulisten.com. “This feeling that’s saturated with solitude, that makes it difficult to be productive, see beyond the present moment … feels an awful lot like grief. What could it look like to not write [music] for a period of time in order to really prepare yourself for your next work? … My city is building overflow spaces to treat the living and carry the dead…. A lot of us are mourning.… There is no shame in choosing to prioritize your health…. This does not make you any less of an artist. It just makes you human. My humble hope is that after all this, there will be a wild explosion of art to celebrate. The Black Plague gave us the vitality of the Renaissance. The Great Depression gave us bursts of experimentation in cinema and music…. Let’s choose to take care of ourselves now…. With this choice, I am beginning to daydream again. I had forgotten what that felt like.”