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, trumpeter, composer and band leader Lina Allemano talks about being pushed to the limit, the loss of music communities in two different countries, and, despite everything, continued artistic inspiration.
"The pandemic really threw a wrench into my work/life situation, which had involved travelling back and forth between Toronto and Berlin regularly for an equal amount of activity in both cities. 2020 was set to be a particularly busy year for me with touring and recording with various groups from both Toronto and Berlin. Of course that all fell apart suddenly in March 2020 and has essentially been on hold ever since. So as far as how the pandemic has affected my work, well, one could say it has been fairly devastating.
I learned quite a lot about myself and what it is like to be pushed beyond one’s previously-known limits of isolation, deprivation, and long-term uncertainty/stress… and strategies to try to cope with these kinds of conditions without the supports in place that one would normally have. It was quite a challenging situation to suddenly lose my music communities in both cities, and not being able to express myself artistically with others or spend time with friends and family became more and more stressful over time. Having said that, being fortunate enough to have plenty of healthy food and a comfortable, safe place to live and sleep was of course something I am very grateful for.
Somehow I still managed to get quite a lot of work done despite everything - mostly composing and recording, and I also put out 2 new albums in April 2021 (Lina Allemano Four, Vegetables, and BLOOP, Proof) on my Lumo Records label. Lina Allemano Four also recorded a new “pandemic album” with music I wrote during the pandemic - that will be out in 2022. I’ll also be releasing a “pandemic duo project" soon with Toronto drummer Nick Fraser along with 4 young exciting collaborators from Toronto, New York City, and Berlin who did intriguing remixes of our trumpet and drums tracks. Our ‘Trumpet & Drums REMIX Festival’ will be out this fall on Lumo Records… stay tuned!"
Support Lina by purchasing her music at Bandcamp: linaallemano.bandcamp.com.
Here's Lina with Mike Smith - the duo known as BLOOP - with the set they prepared for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival's contribution to the Act4Music Festival in June, 2020: