The Power Of Music In Troubling Times

A little later than originally planned, but we’re back with our latest blog to discuss music in our current climate. 

I was watching some Red Dwarf the other day and there was a scene that always used to make me laugh. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the show, but the scene was one where Lister had found Rimmer’s diary and was reading it out loud.  It went like this:

“My Diary, by Arnold J. Rimmer. January the first: I have decided to keep a journal of my thoughts and deeds over the coming year. A daily chart of my progress through the echelons of command, so that perhaps one day, other aspiring officers may seek enlightenment through these pages. It is my fond hope that, one day, this journal will take its place alongside`Napoleon’s War Diaries’ and `The Memories of Julius Caesar’.”

Next entry… (Flips ahead.)

“July the seventeenth: Auntie Maggie’s Birthday.” (Flips ahead.)

It reminded me that I wrote my first blog post over a year ago suggesting that I’d be doing an entry reasonable regularly (I think once a month was mentioned). That’s  pretty typical for me – lots of grand ideas, etc. but sometimes, I have some problems with follow-through (no pun intended). I mean, I’m not under any illusion that people were checking daily for my latest installment (in fact I received exactly zero queries in respect of when the next one would be – b@$%!#&s). Anyway, there’s nothing like a global crisis and an extended period locked in your home to focus the mind.

First off, I hope all of you that are reading this are well and staying as safe as possible. This is an unprecedented situation in our lifetimes and obviously, we’re all in the process of adjusting to this new reality. However, given everyone is drowning under the constant flow of news/advice around the virus, I’m not going to dwell on it too much here other than to say follow the advice of the experts (not the morons) and look after yourselves and one another. I’m generally a positive person and I honestly believe that times like this have the potential to bring out the very best in people. We see examples of it every day:  people offering to help elderly neighbors get shopping, people donating money to food banks/other charities, small business owners making sure their staff keep receiving a salary, neighbors playing music from their balconies in Italy and, of course, the healthcare workers, delivery drivers, and others who just keep going throughout to help the rest of us…..  We’re living through history right now, so let’s make sure when kids are reading about this in the classroom a hundred years from now, what they take away from it is that it was an event that brought out the very best in humanity…..

From a music perspective, as we all settle into our nests for the next few months, it’s disconcerting to realize that we’re not going to get the chance to use that “pressure valve” (as I referred to it in my first blog) of a live show to release some of the stress and anxiety we’re all feeling. To say that this is a disaster for musicians (for many of whom touring is their primary source of income) would be an understatement. However, as it always does, the music world has responded and, hopefully, you’ve been as delighted as us to see so many musicians live-streaming performances from their homes and studios. 

I have to say, from a personal perspective, it’s been a massive help to get just a little bit of that “live music” feeling and it also helps to know that we can help musicians by paying some money to join a live stream. If you have the means to do that, I would urge you to do so (or head to their online stores and buy a record or a t-shirt).  As the old saying goes, you don’t realize how much you truly love something until it’s gone. Let’s make sure we support musicians and artists as much as we can through this period because the services they provide us are really important and we will all need live music more than ever when we come out the other side of this.

From our perspective, we are going to look to ramp up interviews with musicians (via Skype) and we will try to keep a live list of upcoming live streams and events that we are aware of (you can find this on the front page of the site). If you’re a musician and you want to come on for an interview or you want to publicize upcoming shows on the site, please just get in touch with the details. 

I genuinely believe in the power of music to help people through trying times and I promise we’ll do everything we can from our side to provide some content and to publicize streaming events and shows to help brighten your day a little bit.

We’ll make it through this if we all stick together.

Stay safe everyone.


About Phil Walton 81 Articles
Phil grew up in the UK and loved listening to and playing music from a young age. He moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, falling in love with the city and its music scene. He enjoys nothing better than spending time with musicians, whether it be watching them perform, talking to them for the website or reading their autobiographies.