Maximising or minimising after lockdown?

Finally last Monday 1 June we were allowed to perform for public again, I was one of the lucky artists to shed my ‘après lockdown stage nerves’ at ‘Lucky 30 Festival’ in Zuiderparktheater Den Haag. Very exciting and a lot of fun. Also a good try-out for our new live shows, next one 27 June in Nijmegen.

The past month I have sung many covers from the 60’s and 70’s on request on my YouTube channel (Bob Dylan, Melanie, Joan Baez, Neil Young and many others). This time period was also the time of the ‘folk revival’, a time when many folk traditionals from the past were blown in new life. My normal repertoire already consisted of traditionals and my own songs so this makes for a nice link!

The folk revival time was also a time of pure acoustic music. Many of the songwriters from the 60s really sang solo of with small accompaniment. I value being a songwriter even more these days. I love to create something beautiful with only acoustic instruments and my voice. Besides the purity of it, it has great practical advantages these days. It could be done at home, in gardens, on the streets. When only small groups of people are alllowed it is much easier to be a songwriter than a band.

And it has a different moral aspect to me. Now lockdown is ending it seems we are all trying to find the gaps in the law, to maximize the size of our performance, our wedding, our work gathering, the amount of visitors to our shops and restaurants. Of course that all has a financial reason. More people generally means more money.

But isn’t this way of thinking the main fault of the very system that got us into the trouble we have now? I don’t see Covid -19 as a problem on its own. Climate change, plagues, overuse of travel, cheap produce abroad, viruses, they’re all connected.

So why do we want to go back to the cheapest & the max right away again? Wouldn’t it work better to try and find simpeler sustainable options that last longer? Not to opt for the quick fix but the slow and easy route out of lockdown. Not to go back to consuming to the max right away. Think about what’s really necessary! And about what your personal choices mean to others and to the world. But most of all, like we all have experienced lately: enjoy those little things!


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