Hello Portland (and beyond):
We are all entering a new reality—and not the fun virtual kind. There is a palpable silence in the air as the world has simultaneously slowed to a crawl and ramped up to full speed. While city streets are nearly empty of cars or traffic, news feeds flash like sirens, sounding alarms worthy of panic and grief. It is okay to take a breath; it is okay to be sad, to take solace, and to be unsure. Everyone will deal with this collective trauma differently, be it in the form of a break from usual routine and succumbing to seclusion, or using this time to produce and create. Personally, I’ve been back and forth: one week in an obsessive rampage—reading 5 books at a time or working on an art project for 15 hours straight; the next week, unable to leave bed and binge watching old sci-fi. Hey, it’s all valid. You do you.
But yes, in the 256 hours a day I spend staring at my phone screen, it’s easy to focus on the bad, tuning into the insanity of the deadly reality TV show in D.C. Though there is another side: a collective coming together of community, people reaching out, and artists supporting each other as best they can. Locally, many Portland musicians have been writing new music or early-releasing songs they’ve been holding onto. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing music from many of these artists. As it seems unclear what will happen to the music scene in the coming year, one thing is for sure: music will survive in one form or another, and we must all help it thrive together. If you’re someone with the means, maybe now’s the time to buy that new album or donate money to your favorite artist. If you don’t have financial means, even just listening and sharing work by your favorite artists will help keep the dream alive.
It’s hard not to miss playing with my band, supporting my friends at shows, or going out to festivals. Amid all that is scary, we can keep the local scene going as much as possible, if nothing else, by sharing the work of talented musicians that make Portland the special community that it is. Included are some images taken by local photographers of local bands and artists. If anyone has more photos to share, or would like to tell a story about their experience during this time, please feel free to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your incredible support.