This year has been a difficult year professionally of course, but more importantly 2020 was also tough for all of us personally. I hope that you and your family, friends and colleagues have remained as safe and well as possible across the year.
Despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19, it has been inspiring to see large ensembles staying active whenever possible, in those countries and regions where the health situation and support for the creative industries has allowed. Most often of course this has been through online activity, but I know that some of you have been able to perform concerts with a real live audience! Which makes me very jealous… It has been a long time since I have been able to perform or attend a concert in person, and even though livestreams can be great, I very much miss the sharing a live music experience with others in the same room. With vaccines beginning to be distributed, I hope that I will not have to wait too much longer to experience this again.
Writing this on a typically grey, cold and wet day in Manchester, Covid-19 is not the only thing causing uncertainty for me and Beats & Pieces for 2021 and beyond – the dreaded B-word will soon come to pass, which on a personal level I find very sad. The fact that the UK Government is still unable to give businesses any definitive information about what will happen means that as of now we have no idea if or when it will be viable for Beats & Pieces to perform in Europe again. I am proud that Beats & Pieces is a member of this community of ensembles spread across the continent, and I know that I speak for the majority of UK musicians and the creative community when I say that we will do everything we possibly can to continue working closely and collaborating with you, our European friends and neighbours – deal or no deal.
I wish all of you a very happy new year and a successful 2021, and I look forward to seeing you all in person again soon!
By Ben Cottrel, Beats and Pieces and member of Think Big!