Isolation Drills: Presages

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.

Angel Ocana: My situation is slightly different than most. During the day, I’m a head supply chain manager for Jefferson Health System Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. It’s a physical rehab hospital located in Center City Philadelphia. The days are isolated but in a different way, I guess. With the current COVID situation, my days are long and pretty intense trying to supply our hospital with all types of medical supplies and PPE materials to protect our patient population and staff.

The musician side of me is definitely missing my Presages bandmates and creating music with them. We had to cancel our tour dates and rehearsals, and that reality has been very difficult to accept. On weekends, I usually take time to decompress and create demos for Presages. Ironically, I isolate in the bathroom playing my guitar for better acoustics, then practice playing to an empty street with the Philadelphia skyline from my window. Though this process has been lonely, I believe it has challenged me compositionally in a positive way.

I think as artists, we are great at learning new ways to adapt and connect. I see a lot of locals on social media doing that, and it makes me happy to know we will always find the light in any situation.