Not sure where I’m going with this but I feel compounded to write. As I write this we are knee deep in lock down, social norms are no longer norms. What is keeping me from spiralling into a vortex of self pity, despair and, quite frankly, terror? Yup you guessed it, Music! I should at this point give you a bit of background about myself, if only that it shows just how powerful music is. I suffer with anxiety, depression and Fibromyalgia. I assume in this enlightened age we all know what anxiety and depression are but fewer of you know about fibromyalgia. Well its a set of symptoms that can’t be explained with anything else, most debilitating is widespread chronic pain and fatigue, all the time, for the rest of my life (there are in fact 130 odd symptoms that have been recorded and you can indeed have all of them at one time). All of the aforementioned illnesses mean that even before the lock down I am quite isolated. I’m lucky that we can live on my wife’s wages and the PIP I receive so I spend most of my days painting pictures and resting.
Music keeps me company, music literally keeps me sane. No I really mean it, it keeps me sane! I like a broad range of musical styles and I’m not a fan of labelling them as genres because I believe that stems creativity. Music has something for everyone, a style for every emotion. When I’m at my worst sounds can actually be physically painful, yet “easy listening” or as I like to call it “my quite day music” can be played at low sounds which soothe rather than assault. There are days when I want to rail against the injustices of my illness, hey, there is a style of music for that, and you see where I’m going with this?
So why am I writing this? Well this pandemic is affecting music like nothing else I have known. Grass roots venues have been closing before this but how many more will we lose? The record industry is at a place now where few bands are afforded the luxury of a record contract meaning bands are very much living on the edge, now their livelihood is been taking from them, the fact most are self employed affects them doubly.
I hate to be all doom and gloom as all things considered I’m quite an optimistic chap. Many artists are taking to social media playing gigs from home, most are free to watch with a link to a way of paying something but only if you can. You can still buy their music; they need you now more than ever. Let’s not kid ourselves though; Art in all its forms is in real peril right now. We need to pull together to make sure we don’t lose it. I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t have a beat, a rhythm to it.
I have no answers, I’m sorry if you think I did. I support the bands I like as much as I can, if everyone does the same then just maybe we can get through this. Just think how fantastic your next live gig is going to be! Stay safe, stay indoors, keep listening, and keep buying their stuff. Don’t let music die.
Written By Andrew Forcer