We didn’t know that 2020 is going to be like this. They say you never know the value of what you have until you lose it. By now, we should know the value of so many things! People around the world have experienced more or less the same problems, miseries, frustrations of all kinds. Certainly, you can think of various examples. At least, we might have come to the realization that people around the world regardless of their race, social level, and nationality – we feel, think, act or react almost the same, under nearly the same circumstances. So hopefully after it’s all over, we will have more sympathy, empathy and understating for each other.
On the other hand, this pandemic has taught us countless and invaluable lessons. Most of us were stuck at home, at least for the first few weeks (if not until now and for weeks/months to come). Therefore, we had more time to contemplate and reflect. We also had to adapt to a new lifestyle entangled with masks, gloves, etc. – We had taken a lot of things for granted. Maybe we were trapped in a rat-race, constantly worrying, competing and running without a destination – Maybe this is our chance to ask whether it worth it. There is a reason we are still alive and this is a chapter in our journey.
Irish composer Andrew Shiels has written a Suite for solo guitar called “Quarantine”, dedicated to the Spanish classical guitarist Merce Font. Listening to this work may help you through this journey. After relaxing, getting some exercise, maybe it is a good time to search for the lost melody of our own lives – before we (ourselves) need a requiem.
I. Try to relax and sleep
II. Get some exercise
III. Requiem for a lost melody
Merce has a good understanding of the pieces which has allowed her to interpret them well and play them beautifully. You are about to listen to a very expressive recording and will surely enjoy the wisely chosen dynamics.
The 3 of the compositions are easy to listen to, relaxing, and with traces of Celtic music (especially in the uplifting 2nd mov.).
Here is what Andrew has to say about this composition: “At the beginning of the lockdown due to the horrible Coronavirus pandemic, I came across a wonderful young Spanish classical guitar player named Merce Font who was doing all that she could to help guitar players worldwide cope with the lockdown.
I thought that her efforts should be rewarded so I wrote a suite of three guitar pieces called Quarantine for her as thanks. Little did I realise at the time that she would fall in love with the pieces and make a commercial recording of them. Although we have never met, we have collaborated very closely in the production of this recording and preparation of the score…”
Merce says: “The paradox of course is that the very isolation which we must suffer alone, has brought us together now as friends and we have together transformed a horrible situation to something wonderful” – define alchemy!
Have a listen here: