MUSIC & PERFORMANCE DURING QUARANTINE
In Partnership with Yamaha Music Centre
In Music at Night and Other Essays, Aldous Huxley eloquently puts in words, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” There’s a particular motion through which we speak, which we breathe and live; in heartbeats, the rhythm of distinct thuds and pauses between monologues, we find music at the core of all these causes. From everything we can’t express to that which we can, we speak in lyrics and think in tunes. And as we find ourselves at an impasse this time of year, Yamaha familiarizes the counter-tendencies to oppose the rapid distribution of the imminent threat of the Coronavirus. While we’re protecting ourselves from the impending misfortune, we find us still at a need for creative expression. Music is one of the most commonplace ways of expressing one’s self and to retain hygiene, protect and preserve one’s health, is of vital significance. In order to do so, one must turn towards an article of guidelines and Yamaha’s set of instructions allows one to both be mindful and expressive. From social distancing to frequent sanitation procedures, an absence of music festivals and social gatherings, how do we reach out across and beyond borders and boundaries?
The performance art of music, its aspects and characteristics that embody a sense of being and reflect one’s conscious is one that’s carried through across a lifetime. To be able to enrich and preserve it, the first and foremost precaution highly advised are ones that tangle themselves into the instruments through which we express ourselves. Each musical instrument is unique in its own potential and require distinct methods of preservation and sanitization. Some of the significantly vital guidelines include,
• the rule of not sharing instruments.
• Maintaining good hygiene for instruments using respective sanitization methods. For example, Yamaha brass instruments can be cleaned using warm water and soap along with an instrument brush that prevents any chance of re-infection and cross-contamination.
• Mouthpiece hygiene is essential, so cleaning the mouthpiece with warm hot water, soap and a mouthpiece brush can help in the sanitization process. Individuals are advised not to use bleach or any sterilising fluid as this may damage the mouthpiece.
• Further, although hard to obtain, instrument sanitizer spray may also work.
The more commonly used area of musical instruments that require a large gathering of individuals are more often schools and academies for music education. The series of protocols is one that includes specific instructions in order to preserve and enhance the sterility in a large frequently used space. Such instructions include that of,
• The utilization of alcohol-based sanitizers for both teachers and students of the academy. Cleaning habitually exhausted spaces such as music stands, choir chairs and electronics while also thoroughly following instrument sanitizing guidelines.
• To continue regular and weekly classes, schools and academies could consider hosting online lessons that allow students to practice and play from home while being updated and maintaining cleanliness for themselves and their instruments in a healthy environment.
• In relation to group gatherings and public gettogethers such as music festivals and perhaps even orchestra concerts, organizers are advised to take responsible initiatives in deciding to communicate the right time and place for such events.
• The choice of alternative methods such as choosing to conduct events online or alternate activities that could take place while being mindful of present social constructs of distancing and isolation.
Society, more often than not, turns towards music to console and comfort themselves in times of trepidation. In times of high anxiety levels and to calm one’s self down, the rhythmic beats of a song or repetitious thrum of a beat allows heartbeat levels to slow or speed up in respect to its cause. This practice and methodology finds itself useful and efficient in this time of season where self-distancing and isolation has enhanced and distorted routine behaviour, while the constant need to assure absolute cleanliness of every surface may bring out obsessive compulsive disorders. Music therapy is evidently a highly recommended practice of treatment; sound machines and music instruments of single preference allow for each to be able to calm and reflect. A recent incident shows the poignant story of an Italian neighbourhood singing along with and to each other as they overcome the quarantine effects and isolation impacts on self; this movement has influenced many other events such as serenades from balconies of residential areas and attempts to reignite a sense of togetherness among the sequestered persons. Paul David Hewson, widely known by his stage name Bono from band, U2, has dedicated a ballad inspired by the performance of the Italians, for those affected and those afraid. A viral video of a pair of doctors singing for the affected had the power of impacting and consoling while providing a space of assurance and reinstilling hope and faith at a time that a substantial sense of fear takes over nations across the global platform.
Performance art, in itself has a significant influence and can impact society in periods of global concerns, music as an art form in its sense of creative expression allows a safe space where despite language boundaries and cultural borders, people can connect and resolve issues.
Yamaha’s concept and series of responsible protocols allows society to preserve this notion and spread assurance while guaranteeing safe and hygienic use of instruments in the right way. These guidelines prevent the distribution of imminent threat of the coronavirus while allowing each person to find solace in music, and the peace that each tune brings. Yamaha, through these conscientious instructions and sensible initiative encourages togetherness through isolation across precincts in their concept to create mutual beats among many heartbeats and answers global concerns responsibly.