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.
Hello, folks! Jon Kois, drummer for RunHideFight and Three 4 Tens, checking in here. “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll,” and at this point, I wish I could tell you how long that is going to be. If you’d have told me at the beginning of 2020 that soon I would be quarantined to my home and forced to wear a mask to go outside, I would have said that sounds like a work of science fiction. I guess reality hit me mid-March, when I walked into a grocery store to find empty shelves and a very unnerving energy in the air. I realized then how serious this pandemic was.
My first order of business was to remain on a schedule: I have been working out at least three times a week and using this downtime to organize a new practice regimen. With FaceTime and Zoom, I’ve been able to keep my drum students on track with their lessons and maintain a base level of income. (For this I am grateful, knowing that there are other musicians and families who are not as fortunate.) I have also been taking time to maintain my instructional website. Contacting family and friends daily, just to check in on their wellbeing and spirits, has been essential.
As for contributing to the community, I have the pleasure of living at the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance home of Paul Robeson, and I have been maintaining the office and building while staff and volunteers are unable to be there. On a decadent note, this new solitude allows me to indulge one of my private pleasures: cigars. Sitting on the porch, enjoying a good cigar and cup of coffee, is perfect for creative thinking.
Please stay safe, stay healthy, and I look forward to seeing you all when we can be back together once again.