Isolation Drills: Chris Forsyth

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Forsyth: When approached to contribute to Isolation Drills back in April, I’d written something about the science-fiction reality of the pandemic and how I’d had a tour cancelled and a live LP released and how work on the construction of Jerry’s II (the second location of my music rehearsal-studio business, Jerry’s On Front) on Germantown Avenue in North Philly was interrupted and I was playing a lot of guitar and giving more lessons than I had been. But since it seems like the world caught fire, it all seems so quaint and long ago now, like another world. 

But here’s the thing: It was the same world and it’s always been on fire. All of it—George Floyd’s murder, the righteous protests demanding change, and the ensuing police violence directed at protestors and fellow Americans—are facts of life in America and are really at the heart of who we are as a nation, as much many would like to think otherwise.

I’m not sure that I have the words to adequately address any of this other than to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter and then let other voices drive the conversation.

Love and gratitude to everyone in the streets protesting and also mending their communities. I know that I’ve certainly gotten to know my neighbors—at home and around Jerrys On Front and Jerrys II—a little bit better in the last couple weeks, and we’ve been able to help and support each other. We’ve all got a role to play, and I think that’s important.

Keep on pushing.