one. Coronavirus Sonification by Jamie Perera
From Jamie: The main work – a durational performance over 24 days – contains over 20 hours of testimony from interviewed individuals, from BAME frontline workers to self isolating vulnerable people to near death survivors. Soundscapes follow the timeline, from conversation in pubs, planes overhead and school playgrounds to empty streets, footsteps in isolation, hospital ICUs and environmental sounds without humans.
two. ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DYING by Kaitlan Brazeau
Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a widespread and devastating public health concern in North America and around the globe. According to the Health Officer’s Council of British Columbia, approximately 47,000 Canadian deaths are linked to substance abuse annually (Canadian Drug Crisis, n.d.). It affects individuals from all walks of life, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and genders. During the pandemic, the overdose death rate has increased by nearly 40%. This deadly disease takes the lives of our neighbours, our friends, and our families.
This song, written by myself and Jordan, attempts to capture the feeling of being in active addiction; the obsession, compulsion, hopelessness and shame. My hope is to bring awareness to the disease of addiction, and to the increase in overdose deaths during this pandemic due to the necessity of isolation.
three. Laundry (performed with accompaniment by the AUMI JAM Band) by Julie Unruh
Julie Unruh is an author and animal rights activist based in Lawrence, Kansas. When she was 19 years old, she was involved in a car accident that resulted in her being in a coma for several months. Music and writing have played an important role in her recovery. For the past few years, she has been a member of the AUMI-KU Interarts group in Lawrence Kansas. The AUMI, which stands for Adaptive Use Musical Instrument, is a musical instrument that translates movement into sound.
Commenting on the important of music and the AUMI, Julie writes:
“Music has always been a part of my life. When I woke up from the coma, and I heard music for the first time it made me feel alive… free. I wanted to play the musical instruments I used to play before the accident. But I no longer remembered how to play any notes on them. When I joined AUMI, it was designed for anyone to play music: they didn’t have to know how to play the notes or read any music and it was accessible to everyone no matter their disability. Oliver Hall got me interested in the AUMI group, I was excited about being able to put music to my poetry.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Julie wrote a poem called “Laundry” that was set to music by the AUMI-KU Interarts group. Julie explains: “When this lockdown happened, I started thinking of all the places I liked to go and what makes me happy about being there. That is how the laundry poem came to be. When this pandemic happened, Sherrie Tucker made sure we could all be in touch and play the AUMI, because music is the one thing everyone can agree on. It brings us closer together.”
Julie Unruh grew up in Montezuma, Kansas. She is a human and animal rights activist living in Lawrence, Kansas. She is currently a member of the Kansas Author’s Club since 2020. She is the co-founder and co-owner of Global Green Publications. In 2013, she published her first book, “Vegetable Garden: A True Story,” which details the impact that a 1998 car accident has had on her life. She co-wrote, with Oliver Hall, “Historical Document Project 1: The Gettysburg Address”. In 2012, she and Hall co-published “Martin Luther King, Jr.”, a memorial book, produced “Renaissance”, a book about William J. Harris and Romare Bearden. Julie also wrote and published “Silence” and “Powerful Woman,” her first two poetry books. She created “Sammy the Kat Publishing and Productions,” in 2020. Publishing her first chapbook “Mozart’s Laugh,” and her next poetry book, “America Behind the Mask.”
four. Jazz as Brave Space: (re)Framing Technologies of Creative Becoming & Planetary Considerations by Jonathan Kay
From Jonathan: this is a self recorded and produced musical track and product of the Covid lockdown. It is a response to the pure interiority of my musical milieu during the lock down, hense completely self made. Is this a planetary fate worth of consideration?
Jonathan Kay is a cross-cultural Jazz improvisor and North Indian classical musician from Toronto, Canada, who lived for a decade in Kolkata, India in search of spiritual and contemplative ways of musical knowing. He is a innovative composer and multi-instrumentalist playing saxophones, esraj (Indian 21-stringed bowed instrument), bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), and Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute).
Jonathan is currently a first year PhD student in the East-West Psychology department at California Institute of Integral Studies, researching cross-cultural music philosophy. His studies are helping him better understand and integrate cross-cultural experiences, as well as develop new types of languages to express transcultural musical concepts that inform his artistic process. www.jonathankay.ca
five. Hallelujah by Blake Alexander
Blake Alexander is a 29 year-old inspired, motivated, dedicated and new upcoming artist from Ottawa, Canada. He has always loved music, always had musical abilities, but did not realize he was really preparing for his future music career. 2019 was when he really decided to pursue his music career. For the past decade, he has been battling addiction with alcohol and drugs. There have been highs and lows. In 2018 his addiction took him to places he would wish no one would ever have to be. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, he ended up homeless on the street of downtown Ottawa. However, in the last 2 years he has remained sober.
While in treatment, Blake decided that he was going to change his style of music. Changing from the secular music we commonly hear today, to rapping about change, hope, faith, how others can overcome addiction and how they can build their own relationship with God. “New life” was created, recorded and released from his bedroom in treatment. Blake has said that this is only the beginning and has plans on sharing the gospel. He also states, its never too late to change and we all can overcome addiction with the help of community and Jesus. Since then, he has also released 2 singles called, “Hallelujah” and “The Usual”. He has also released music videos for those singles.