Co-Mission Contributor: Invisible Familiars
Meet Invisible Familiars
i can’t tell you how many different feelings i’ve had, in trying to put into words my own experience of what the hell is going on in this crazy old world right now. the words of this ballad relate, in retrospect, though they may be somewhat deceiving. born out of a new relationship, fortified in part by living in close confines during a shared crisis experience, it could be the voice of a lover lamenting the doomed/finite nature of previous romantic relationships. but now i’m reminded more of that passage from Ecclesiastes about there being “nothing new under the Sun”. (maybe the biblical reference seeped in, having lived in a rented church for the last 6 months…)
that quote is often regarded cynically, but i’ve recently learned it’s meant to warn the reader that all things happen cyclically and to be unaware of the past is to be doomed to repeat it… or maybe to be aware of the past is to also be doomed to repeat it… so we’re “damned if we do”, etc.– i dunno; i’ve watched Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys at least a half dozen times and i still keep hoping it’ll end differently. my father’s grandfather died of the Spanish flu and somehow that all led to where i currently find myself. i’ve ignored the warnings of various Cassandras, as do we all, daily. and as for my plans? HA! plans have been dashed and smashed, all tour and session work has been postponed, indefinitely, but i thusly feel that much more lucky to be able to still put food on the table. i’ve found other mostly-legal means of squeaking by and if people wanna help additionally they can venmo me at @Hearing-Is-Believing. i’ll wind up donating at least 1/2 of it back to charity because that just seems like the only responsible way to do things right now.
if it’s true that “in much wisdom is much grief” i guess i’m still stupid enough to occasionally find joy, but i can also smell a rat. here’s hoping we all send him packing and turn back that minute hand on the ol’ Doomsday Clock. thanks for listening.
Co-Mission Contributor: Giri and Uma Peters
(Photo by Musician’s Corner)
Meet Giri and Uma Peters
The pandemic has affected us in that we really miss playing live shows and festivals. Given our ages, however, since school has been online, we have actually had more time for other musical projects. Giri has learned so much more about production during this time. Uma has had more time to experiment with her gourd banjo.
Co-Mission Contributor: Ross Bellenoit
(Photo by Anja Schütz)
Meet Ross Bellenoit
I wrote the song “The Last Call” the day I arrived in Berlin for a 2 week solo tour in Germany at the beginning of March. I knew the virus was starting to really make its way through certain areas, and I could feel the sense of unease around everyone. I tried to channel this sense of “impending doom” into a waltz, two characteristics that historically have worked very well together in the oeuvre of songwriting as a whole.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt on most things creative in my life. My life now consists of simply hustling to make sure there’s food on the table and a roof over my head. With live performance no longer an option (until there is a vaccine, realistically), and most of my teaching opportunities furloughed, I am having to rely on my wits to find different avenues of work that can be done remotely and safely.
I released a full-length record of original material this year, and while I am still immensely proud of it, not being able to tour behind it has diminished it’s momentum and ability to reach people’s ears. I would encourage everyone to visit my Bandcamp page, http://rossbellenoit.bandcamp.com, and, if they enjoy what they hear, make a direct purchase of any product (you can also sign up to be a subscriber which has extra perks).
I would also encourage people to visit my comic book jazz trio Muscle Tough at http://muscletoughband.com for some serious levity and fun in this new virtual music environment. And if you just want to help a person out, no strings attached, my Venmo is @Ross-Bellenoit and my PayPal is email@example.com
Co-Mission Contributor: Alfred Banks
(Photo by Jose Cotto)
Meet Alfred Banks
Covid has truly changed my life. It switched everything around. I quit my day job and became a full time artist but because of no shows, it’s a real hustle to keep things going. Covid made me turn into an Octopus. It’s a tiresome life I live but man I’m happy to be busy.
You can send donations to Cashapp- $underdogcentral, PayPal – Lyriqs1@gmail.Com or visit Alfredbanks.Bandcamp.Com to buy music/Merch!
Co-Mission Collaborator: Joanna Sternberg
Meet Joanna Sternberg
Co-Mission Contributor: Jeffrey Silverstein
(Photo by Shade Standard)
Meet Jeffrey Silverstein
Music is an outlet through which I come to further understand myself and others. A large part of that process involves being with other people – in the studio, on stage, in unfamiliar cities. The pandemic continues to put a spotlight on how much I value and miss the experience of learning from and listening to other musicians.
I’ve made peace with having to cancel a record release show + tour and am doing my best to stay in the here and now. Being two hours from the coast and mountains certainly helps. More recently I’ve focused my energy on writing, recording, trail running, and preparing for my 7th year as a special education teacher.
Co-Mission Contributor: Tenci
(Photo by Ash Dye)
Being isolated naturally brings heavy reflection. Old memories start to resurface, your relationship with yourself and others take a different shape. The feeling of fragility is high right now like a yolk in a child’s hand. Luckily there is a light at the end of the tunnel, when we can be together again.
Co-Mission Contributor: Anna B Savage
(Photo by Ebru Yildiz)
Meet Anna B Savage
I’ve been affected in much the same way as the most lucky amongst us: I’ve been thinking about work and most of my plans have been postponed indefinitely. Everything seems to have been going in fits and starts: for two and a bit weeks me and a couple of pals wrote a song every day, I was doing Joe Wickes every morning, in other moments I did yoga each day. Now, I’m not holding myself to such high standards. The only thing I haven’t let slip is filling up the bird feeder outside my window.
As for support, you can buy the final version of Chelsea Hotel #3 (previously ‘Leos’) through my bandcamp page, along with the vinyl of my EP released in 2014, and some merch that I’m making, caps and t shirts. There’ll be more to come soon so please keep an eye on this bandcamp page for those updates: annabsavage.bandcamp.com/merch . Also I have a PayPal.me link if you don’t want to buy anything but would like to support me: www.paypal.me/annabsavage . Of all the social medias, I’m most active on Instagram, come and find me over there at @annabsavage.
Co-Mission Contributor: Anna RG & Alex Lacquement
Meet Anna RG & Alex Lacquement
i contracted covid at the end of march, and have been sick for the last five months (read about longhaul covid https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/long-haulers-covid-19-recognition-support-groups-symptoms/615382/) it has profoundly affected my ability to move around the world, my cognition, my mental health, and ability to get work or music-making done. currently spending my time on taking care of myself, and reading a lot. (would recommend this, about disability justice https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2020/08/24/cripping-the-resistance-no-revolution-without-us/ ) if anyone else is struggling with chronic covid, and or related mental health struggles, don’t hesitate to reach out <3
Co-Mission Contributor: Jake Blount
Meet Jake Blount:
The pandemic put my life on pause at an interesting time. I had just moved to a new city, and was gearing up for a summer of heavy touring and the release of my debut solo album, Spider Tales. Although the album received a positive critical reception, I’ve been unable to tour it and perform the way I usually would — a hit to both my finances and my morale. To support me, feel free to visit PayPal.me/jakeblountmusic.
Support Jake Blount: