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.
Little Fawn: So what is it like as a (formerly) working musician during a pandemic-induced shelter in place? Well, if you take the financial struggle and uncertainty out of the picture, it’s not so bad. At least for me. I mean, I have no idea how bills are going to get paid for the foreseeable future. I’m still lost in the New Jersey unemployment void. Who knows when the light at the end of that tunnel will reveal itself? But, I find I have this odd … calm … about the whole thing.
Recently, I saw a great quote about how, even though we are not all in the same boat, it’s still the same storm. It is what it is. I can’t worry about what I can’t do anything about. I can only do what I can do. It’s all any of us can do right now. So I’m trying my best to stay in acceptance. And even if I don’t like it—and there’s a lot to not like right now—accepting the present, as is, is the first step toward positive change. Even if I have no idea what that change looks like yet. Even if no one does.
Creative people are good at exactly that: getting creative. After seeing a friend post his musing on reframing this period of time as an “artist in residence” period, my boyfriend (abstract artist Louie DeVito) and I thought, that’s genius. So that’s how we’ve decided to play it. It’s funny. I had a lot on my plate before the world as we know it came to a screeching halt and, when it got wiped clean, I actually felt myself exhale in relief. And it’s not even that these were things I didn’t want to do. There were just a lot of things.
On the flip side, I was given the free time I needed to, finally, finish writing and creating rough mixes for my upcoming debut album. A free pass to lose myself in my little, living-room studio corner with no other pending obligations other than finish this thing that has been aching to be finished for the past two years. This album is centered around the hero(ine)’s journey (I released the origin single, “Heroine,” last spring). It was born out of my father’s death in February 2019, and I wrote the final two songs during this quarantine. It moves through loss and courage, hope, uncertainty, unconditional love, … death and rebirth. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I feel like every musical thing I have ever done has led me to this. If all goes well, it’ll be ready for release in fall 2021 on Grind Ethos Records. Maybe by then I can even have a “real” record release. Fingers crossed!
Music has been my therapy through this whole thing. I am so grateful for that gift. And I’m grateful that it is a gift that I can share with others to bring a little light into their worlds. The healing reciprocity that it brings is a beautiful thing. Sometimes, during darker times, we can feel bad for having moments where we feel good. But, it is the magic inside those moments that, I believe, will crack through the fear and grief we are all, collectively, experiencing and guide us through to the other side.
There is a better world for all of us, waiting. One in which we do more than just survive, but one in which we all thrive. Together. But for now:.one day at a time. And whatever that day looks like for any of us is all it needs to be. Sometimes, as creatives, we feel pressured to write the next great novel or screenplay—or album—but right now? All we need to do is breathe deep. Lean into the things that bring us joy. Take care of ourselves and each other as best we can. So that’s what I’m trying to do. Meditation, yoga, music, laughter, remembering that I am part of an amazing community, even inside of this physical isolation—both in the town where I live (Collingswood, N.J.), as well as the amazing musical community that is the Philadelphia area.