Newsletter Issue 1 | July 2020
by Anusha Madapura, Bangalore
The world has been thrust into an unparalleled situation, and our lives have changed dramatically. Every day, we wake up to facts and figures, articles and reports galore, and we continually pray for these troubled times to end. The world’s population has been under lockdown for months, disrupting our plans, events, and projects.
As a musician (and I think many others have experienced this), a challenging aspect of the lockdown has been accepting that I can’t make music with others. With everything from live string quartets to symphonies non-viable, and human interactions limited, our scope for music-making has gone down. Skills that we build while performing in groups, such as musical communication and aural abilities are difficult to nurture at this moment. However, we must not forget that during these trying times, we have been required to tap into various other attributes that were not as prevalent during the period of normalcy. Creativity has flourished, with people coming up with new ways to collaborate and share music every single day. We have had to be perseverant and patient – continuing to perfect our art despite the lack of human contact, relying on our passion and love for music to keep us going.
Furthermore, many of us have realised that our gift is valuable, and that music can bring the same joy to others that it brings to us. While I have personally always known this, I now understand it. The piece, The Swan, by Camille Saint-Saens, played by young cellists from all over the world, speaks volumes more to me now. A virtual performance of Bolero, by Maurice Ravel, meant to express gratitude to healthcare workers, is emotionally stirring and is incredibly touching considering to whom the video is dedicated.
How are these virtual initiatives making such a large impact, despite the fact that audiences are viewing them on a glass screen from their homes? I think that this is, in fact, part of the answer. Even though we are in an unprecedented situation, having to stay at home by ourselves, people are pushing on and trying to spread positivity. This is cause for hope. Watching musicians from across the globe in solidarity, creating music with the purpose of spreading joy is the epitome of humanity.
In retrospect, this lockdown has given us an opportunity to make music in new ways. While we are not in an ideal situation, we have learnt to make the best of it, and the fruits of our labour are impactful, in a different way. Though it sounds contradictory, the uniqueness of our efforts is bringing us closer together than ever, and I think that this is one of the greatest triumphs of the human race.
Anusha Madapura is a young and talented violinist from Bangalore with a fiery passion for music and her instrument. In July 2019, she participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artist’s Orchestra program in Massachusetts, where she had a transformational experience learning and performing with some of the top musicians in the world. Anusha performed with Chiragh in both April and October 2019 concerts. She is a budding writer and maintains a blog – thevalleyofmymind – where she shares her experiences. She attends the Creative School in Bangalore hopes to study both biology and music in college. Do check out her splendid violin cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.