Flagstaff is a little gem of a town filled with musicians. I mean, there is music going on here on any given night, with top-notch musicians doing their thing.
Over the past couple of months, the town (obviously) has been silent. There is no music. It feels weird and sad. It was my first time actually downtown since the beginning of March.
We were talking to another musician who also has been out of work since March – also playing for this fundraiser. He’s getting worried – he and his wife had plans to move to Austin, but now they may be moving in with his parents instead.
Orpheum – May 22, 2020
Every Friday night, there is a a zoom episode of Cheers Flagstaff – it’s a fundraiser show for folks in the service industry. The Orpheum Theatre is closed, but is hosting the zoom shows now. Everyone in the club is wearing masks till we get on stage.
It was strange wearing headphones and playing to a virtual audience in this gaping black hole club with empty seats, save for a couple of other musicians waiting to play – and that’s how it goes right now.
Afterwards, Paul and I went home and had dinner – feeling a mixture of gratitude and joy at playing, and grief, too, for the way it is.
Playing with Paul is a life saver. Getting together in the last couple of weeks and having socially distanced rehearsals with the Lofi Sofias has been helpful, too.
Downtown is silent.
Even my art is hanging in a building that has been closed to the public for almost three months.
It’s weirder than ever being an artist. Keep on going, keep on going.
The music is happening on the fringes now – inside private rooms, on porches, and in windy fields at the foot hills.
As I was driving home I was wondering – is it really going to be worth it for me to stay here much longer? (And the more ominous question that I have been keeping at bay – Can I actually afford to stay here)? If I am going to have to isolate, should I just move to a more isolated place (that’s cheaper)? Flagstaff is a very expensive place to live – rent is high, food is expensive, and the mountain is really crowded lately.
I think a lot of artists and musicians have been asking themselves these questions.
Music (connection) and the solitude of the mountain are the things I love about this place.
Embracing the I-don’t-know of it at the moment (like everybody else). Playing what-ifs regarding money, lifestyle, home, and art. I’m going to keep doing my thing no matter what. And, I have been busier than ever. We’ll see how things go.
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venmo @cosmic-holly-troy or @paul-james-perreault paypal – paypal.me/sacredfolly or paypal.me/pauljamesperreault
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