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.
Rowe: I cannot recall a time, not in decades anyway, that I haven’t had a gig or rehearsal on the immediate horizon. So, I was surprised at how this lockdown and social distancing impacted me.
A few weeks in, I found myself depressed and restless. Funny thing is, I’m a graphic designer and work from home, so I couldn’t immediately understand why. Then it dawned on me that I’ve always preferred rehearsing and playing with a full band, and not having that social and collaborative environment was not healthy for me. Very quickly, every day, I found myself feeling “heavy”—that’s the best way I can describe it. I just could not get out of first gear, and physically, I felt weighed down. I had to find a way to change gears and perspective.
Mind you I didn’t come up with anything revolutionary, but what I did discover was that I needed to reconnect with my love of playing and creating. I needed to try to tap into the excitement I had in my youth. So, in a nutshell, that’s what I’ve been doing. My goal is to come up with at least one decent musical idea every day that makes me excited and then try to reinterpret it, build on it and ultimately try to make myself a better player.
It may sound trivial, I guess, but I know that it has had a positive impact on my overall mental, emotional and spiritual state. And if I can somehow carry that and project it outwardly, then it is a win as far as I’m concerned.