Every week, we ask a different local artist to provide their unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view. Through words, video and music, each musician will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work.
This week, bass player, composer and educator Mike Downes talks about missing the intimacy of live performance, learning new skills, and staying (very!) busy artistically.
"I’ve been playing music with other people since I was a kid, so performing in isolation has been a huge adjustment. I’ve had to find ways to transform from the intimacy of being in the same room as my fellow musicians and audience to a very different online model.
I've learned that nothing can beat the energy of connecting with people live in person! I have, however, learned a tremendous amount about recording at home, video production, compositional ideas and more. I’ve been taking advantage of the free time I’ve had.
I’ve been writing new music for my group, written a bunch of solo bass music that I’m about to record, transcribed a large series of historical bass lines, arranged a symphonic show and helped arrange, compose and play on a new Molly Johnson holiday album. I’ve been involved in a bunch of projects with various artists and also completed three fully-improvised videos with Robi Botos and Larnell Lewis, where we exchanged short improvised ideas back and forth, something we never would have done had we not been in forced isolation. It produced some really interesting tracks though!"
Support Mike by purchasing his music at mikedownes.com/shop
Here's Mike improvising with Robi Botos and Larnell Lewis from November, 2020: