Music can be all-encompassing whether making music or just listening to it. It can be healing. It can be invigorating. It can also stimulate the brain in ways that nothing else can. Music encourages artistic and emotional connection and expression. And unfortunately in our profit-centered world, it can also be far too expensive. In July of 2019, I wrote a piece exploring some of the differences between those playing to live and those who lived to play for the sheer love of it, though in both cases my essay focused on the performance aspects and the range of compensation musicians received for their services.
I’ve written about the recent demise of two local theater companies. I had worked for both companies in the past, and they each served the community in numerous ways. Between the ongoing risks associated with the prevalence of COVID-19 reducing audiences, escalating facility costs, and legislation in California forcing performing arts organizations to treat any paid person as an employee with all of the overhead costs that entails, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep small theater groups and community music ensembles afloat. It’s also made accessing those that are still functioning far more cost prohibitive for many audience members. Continue reading