Creatively, the last month or so has been really tough for me and thus, for Brave Musician. There are many reasons for this, some more obvious than others, both personal and professional. As I come out of this period of quasi-isolation and caccooning, I am reflecting on what I have witnessed in the world around me, which frankly has been examples of the best and worst of mankind. But I keep observing so that I can understand better, learn more, change and update as needed, support where I can, and eventually use my creative expression to process it all.
There’s been a lot to process from a musician perspective and a human perspective. I have been reading many social media posts and stories of musicians who are dealing with a number of struggles, including creative drought, frustration with isolation and motivation, worry and concern about playing together again, self-doubt, and lots of emotional turmoil. I have also witnessed musicians sharing glimmers of hope, experimenting with new technologies, learning new skills, and reaching out for help. I’ve witnessed white musicians come to terms with systemic racism and vowing to do better. I have seen solidarity, conversation, and education. And I have spoken with many who are finding themselves really productive during this time, and enjoying having the time to intensely focus.
It makes sense that everyone would be reacting in different ways. We are still in the middle of the unknown. We don’t know what is going to happen or when. We are being encouraged to make plans, but also contingency plans, and contingency plans for our contingency plans. For me personally, the last month has been a time of disconnection, personal reflection, and planning ways to be of service to my communities. Here are some of the questions I have been deeply considering, and I encourage you to do the same:
- How can I express my life experiences while simultaneously being of service to those who do not have a voice?
- How can I continue to learn and grow, and thus do better?
- How can I do more for the Black Lives Matter movement and be deliberately and consciously anti-racist?
- How can I be of service to musicians, students, and educators specifically those underserved in the current education systems?
In addition, I moved from Phoenix to Nashville at the beginning of this month. It’s really strange to move to a new city, especially Music City, and have no gigs to play or shows to attend. And, as I start to settle in and open up again, the world really hasn’t. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.
So, I realized that I have two choices. Wait it out, or get moving and make something happen. Both choices are valid. But only one feels like the right thing to do for me. There’s work to be done. Brave Musician has always been about building. Building community (Find your people!), having tough conversations, learning, building creative confidence, and innovation. Now’s the time to really look at the systems around us, figure out what needs to change, and make it happen. I invite you to join me.