Lacerda, Maria Teresa. 2022. “«What I want is to play!»: Cope mechanisms in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic” at the 46th ICTM World Conference. Lisboa. Portugal. Program available here.

21.07.2022 | 15:30 | NOVA FCSH | Campolide Campus

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken everyday life. In the music scene, the criminalization of nightlife has led to a drastic reduction in live music (Nofre et al. 2020), and artistic professionals, like other gig workers, found themselves in a position of vulnerability (Jean 2020). Portugal, like many other countries, has oscillated between a “state of emergency” and some level of pseudo-normality, with measures constantly changing, sometimes hampering, sometimes preventing, the planning of events in the short and medium term. In this context, culture in general, and music in particular, had been called a “saviour”, helping to manage COVID-19 stress (Pratt 2020; Vidas et al. 2021; Fink et al. 2021). Nevertheless, the sector felt left behind and musicians who lost concerts during the pandemic are still facing the economic and psychological consequences of two years of drastic reduction of live performances. I want to look into strategies for coping and adaptability, from a double-lens perspective, as a researcher and a musician. Some of them may be individual and internal, like the duality between realism, denial or hope, that affect important individual decision-making. Other approaches may concern social interactions and the sense of community (Scheele et al. 2021), on a spectrum from detached relationships to establishing new, functional and positive adaptations (Antonini Philippe, Schiavio and Biasutti 2020). I will explore how musicians respond to the transformations imposed during the confinement, creatively and practically, in order to maintain the social aspect of music–crossing areas such as music-making, performances, and networking, among others (Dias 2019; Levstek et al. 2021).