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Music for a while, Karina Gauvin

Music For A While: musicians talk about their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Musicians are particularly affected while concert halls remain shuttered and live audiences are replaced with virtual ones. In light of this evolving reality, we are launching a new series of short interviews with ATMA Classique recording artists about their lives during the pandemic.

Our inaugural edition features none other than soprano Karina Gauvin, whose latest recording, Nuits Blanches, was released in March 2020.

What was your last live performance before the lockdown began?

Beethoven’s Mass in C at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In the following days, everything was starting to unravel….

How has your daily routine changed during the pandemic?

As an international travelling singer, “daily routine” does not really exist for me because what I go through changes from day to day and week to week. What I have been finding is that since lockdown I have had more time to do just that, have a routine!

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of this new reality we are all experiencing?

The fact that I can’t visit my mother and friends and family, or just go to a restaurant or coffee shop on a whim ….. things we took for granted before the lockdown.

How are you keeping busy now that live concerts have been suspended?

I like to start my mornings with stretch exercises, a walk and morning meditation. Then I do maybe a little paperwork or get ready for some repertoire exploration for my little videos that I share weekly on Facebook and YouTube. I look through many songs before deciding on one. Also, I have a couple of new projects that I am thinking about and working on. Reading some inspiring authors to keep my thoughts positive. Walking to the grocery store, and of course, trying out some new things in the kitchen. And like everybody else on the planet, cleaning out those pesky drawers that I never get around to. Finally, I have been enjoying evening walks. The other night I stood in the middle of a usually busy street. There was absolutely not one car in sight, no one walking anywhere and it was total, peaceful, blissful quiet. Nothing I ever thought I would experience in a city.

What music do you find yourself turning to most frequently since the pandemic arrived?

I have been listening to a hodge-podge of different things. I recently cleaned out my CDs ….. Yes, I still have CDs! The best thing to listen to when you are cleaning is upbeat pop songs — Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend. Then turn around and listen to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion — just what my heart desires in the moment.

Have there been any silver linings or unexpected benefits for you from this time in isolation?

I have been really using this time to work on personal development. Going more deeply inwards. This is a time for real self-reflection and becoming more aware of ourselves and others around us. How will we go about things moving forward? Now is the time to ask those questions.

Any words of advice to help us get through this uncertain period?

Meditate. It’s life saving….. with some ice cream mochis thrown in for good measure!

Interview by Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications

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