Light or False Hope?

in Music For Steem 🎵10 months ago


So, we are now over one year into a pandemic which has basically destroyed performing musicians (and restaurateurs and others...).

At the start, there was much talk about how people would change their ways of living and realise that there were ways of living that were less consumerist and basically the equivalent of hopping on a giant hamster mill for most of your life before finally getting your reward by retiring. There was some degree of sympathy for those who were most affected by the shutdown of sectors.

However, I'm a good deal more cynical. I think most people will return back to what they were doing before-hand, griping about the same stuff about how much they like their work (or not...) and how fulfilling or meaningful it might have been. In fact, in my Education studies, I do see quite a large number of mature age students who have had the revelation that their previous jobs were basically a time-marker for several decades of their life.

Most people will probably come out of the pandemic thinking that the most difficult thing of 2020/21 was the fact that they had to cancel their summer holidays (yes... I've had that discussion...) or that they had to work from home with their kids at the same time.

That said, I have to say that the pandemic has clarified the fact that I do feel fufilled by being a musician and that many of the other jobs on offer just don't interest me. However, I am all too aware that I'm in a lucky spot in being able to choose. I only wish that more of the population had the ability to choose as well... or perhaps I'm mistaken, and people do actually love their jobs and it isn't just a way to accumulate money to do the things that they actually want to do.

Anyway, this isn't supposed to be a rant about society....

March 2020 was the apocalypse for musicians.... cancellations after cancellations, during one of the busiest times of the year. If the lockdowns started a few weeks later, we would likely all have earnt roughly a quarter to a half of our usual yearly income. However, luck wasn't with us that time and we were all crashed into a financial wall and told that we were essentially supposed to have saved up for the drop to zero income for an indefinite time. Thankfully, not all governments stuck with that line (it's a bit of a strange argument when you think about it...) and there was assistance in most countries. The Netherlands was okay at first, but it has become more difficult as the time as gone on.

So, that started a rolling wave of cancellations throughout the year... and I've pretty much assumed that any new project that is starting will likely not survive. It's been a way of coping... I see some of my colleagues being devastated with each cancellation. They are too full of hope... that will be rectified!

Most of the larger ensembles have pretty much given up on scheduling and planning for a while. There are expenses and overheads that need to be paid out in advance, and if a project is cancelled... well, that is just lost. However, just in the last couple of weeks, I've had offers for a couple of larger scale projects that seem quite optimistic...

In a couple of weeks, there will be a Television Performance of the Matteus Passion... that should be interesting. The live concerts that were scheduled around the sessions were unfortunately cancelled due to restrictions, but at least the Television sessions were able to be salvaged. In these dark days, anything counts as a win!

It's a pretty interesting sort of schedule... lots of coronavirus rapid tests every morning before work begins. I do wonder what happens if one person tests positive.... does that mean that the entire project bombs out?

Then... there is a much more ambitious project from another orchestra in the Czech Republic. It is about 2 months away... I do have doubts about whether or not it is viable, as there will be many musicians who will have to travel. Again, I do wonder if it is an all or nothing sort of deal... at the moment, it is still in viability phase, just to see if they can source enough musicians for the project. I hope it goes through... I do hate travelling for tours and work, but I have missed appearing on the concert stage!

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People as a whole are not going to change their ways. Some will make changes one way or another, but as a whole society will be very much the same as before.

Most people hated the lockdowns and restrictions. They literally look forward to going back to the things they previously hated because it means going back to "normal".

Heck my youngest HATED school with a passion, yet realized that she missed it. To the point that the second there was an option for part time in school she wanted to go and looked forward to the days. Now they are 4 days a week and she hates the 1 day home. To be fair she still doesn't like School, but she likes being around her friends. That change back to normal schedule has done SO much for her mood.

Personally I've been in front of people each day, every day. So while this drastically effected my business negatively my routine stayed very much the same. Just working way harder to make less money which sucks. Each day new people come into the store for the first time as they are out venturing around more and more. Can't wait for more people to come out of their homes and return to living.

One last thought, an unhappy person doesn't just become happy because they get a new job or whatever. Being happy in life is much more of a mindset then anything. Happy people are happy even when shit goes bad, unhappy people always find something to complain about.

Great to see that your comic book store managed to keep going! I was a bit worried for you at the start!

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