“Worrying is the most natural and spontaneous of all human functions,” wrote the physician and essayist Lewis Thomas. Take our natural capacity for worry and throw in a pandemic and many of us are feeling overwhelmed. With our lives upended by Coronavirus and the stream of grim news flowing from our radios and web browsers, we could all use some help to combat the stress. As we look out for the health of one another, we must also take care of our minds. Mental health is health.
Music is one thing that can have a profound effect on the emotions and the body. It can give comfort, give hope, give guidance, and give you a moment to breathe. Musicians and arts organizations have stepped up to help.
One local musician, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, is livestreaming daily at 4 P.M. PST from his home studio on Capitol Hill. Of the new project, Gibbard wrote: “I know you are all really freaked out right now. I am too. And while I’m proud that we’re all doing the necessary things at the moment to help flatten the curve, I know it has left us all incredibly isolated. But because we’re all going through this nightmare together we are quite literally NOT alone. Our lives and stories are all linked, maybe more now than they have ever been.”
The Metropolitan Opera is offering a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD each day to brighten the days of opera lovers. Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the music director of the Metropolitan Opera, said, “This music is not called classical for nothing. It becomes a classic because we actually connect through our being and our history and our aspirations, collectively as a society, but also individually, through these masterpieces because they have an endless power of regenerating our philosophy or our hope in life.”
The Seattle Symphony is sharing performances that provide strength, comfort and joy through video rebroadcasts and livestreams throughout the month.
Lin-Manuel Miranda released a never-released Hamilton track saying, “Wish I could send you peace of mind via this app. Alas. But I can send you music no one's heard.”
And the Hamilton Musical submitted a casting call for fans to sing “Non-Stop” for a chance to be included in their March 28 digital Saturday Night On Broadway video. Videos can be submitted using #HamAtHome.
The New York radio station WKAR compiled an extensive list of classical music available for live streaming.
National Public Radio made a multi-genre list of live concerts you can stream, most for free, that will be updated every day until it’s no longer needed.
Stay well, stay in, and find some peace in the incredible world of music.