Music in the Time of Covid (2020)

for solo guitar.

Duration: 25 mins.

‘Music in the Time of Covid’ is a 5 part composition for solo classical guitar which I created through improvisation.

Each movement reflects an aspect of life during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. Pandemic Prelude
  2. Bewildering Chaos
  3. Nostalgic Melancholy
  4. Lockdown Blues
  5. Lament for the Victims

The music has elements of modal improvisation. minimalist repetition, jazz and contemporary classical guitar techniques, with occasional hints at Irish folk ornamentation.

I’m grateful to Arts Council Ireland for supporting this project, which has resulted in my most significant work for classical guitar to date.

The premiere performances on Youtube aren’t perfect, because, basically they are spontaneous improvisations, so occasional fluffed notes were inevitable.

Part of the composition process involved editing out a few sections that didn’t work, so there’s some video edits that aren’t so smooth due to this.

I could also do with a better video camera, so the video quality isn’t as good as it could be.

Overall though I’m very happy with the results of this experimental project. ​Improvisation can bring you in new directions that you mightn’t have thought of just sitting with sheet music.