Anna Pancaldi: Keeping The Spirit Of Music Alive During The Pandemic

by Anna Pancaldi

29th January, 2021

2020 swept through each one of our homes, schedules and thoughts last year and with it came an existence many of us had never quite known.

To me, it is a privilege to be able to write about the past year and how I have carved time for music as I know so many people have been ridden with grief, loss and desperation. There is almost an uneasiness if I speak truthfully, that I can share such thoughts and experiences during this time.

When it began I had recently moved houses and had felt completely uninspired by the recent life-altering presence of this intrusive virus. I felt that I had to allow myself to not be too harsh or shower myself with guilt if I wasn’t suddenly churning out albums of music and pushing onwards like times before. Kindness is indeed hard to bestow upon ourselves at the best of times. I found that structure was a necessity for me and throughout the summer spent time on things that truly mattered to me, getting involved with the BLM protests, further educating myself about systemic and institutional racism, it’s history in our own country and the admittance to the ignorance that I had experienced. It was a time to show kindness, checking in with others and music came second to much of that. Gardening became a firm favourite, well weeding actually, often attacking the larger ones with ferocity (exceedingly therapeutic), sketching and learning to embroider.

As I felt able, I opened up to music once more in an around and about way. I hosted an Insta live show I titled ‘Together with You’ where I interviewed some incredible musicians I have toured/worked with, underwater cinematographers to chocolatiers. I so enjoyed presenting for the first time in that capacity and delving into the minds and journeys of those brave careers they chose to embark on.

As I edged back into music and FYI I have written zero songs directly about the virus, I found I had growing capacity to write and share my inner thoughts. Pen raised to paper, growing accustomed to the new way of collaborating online. At first, finding it tricky and a little soulless, but as time passed I found that it was better than not sharing these sessions at all and now I am happy to do so as I can collaborate with others who I may not have worked with otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to share a studio with others again, soak up the hums of instruments, thoughts, conversation and no Zoom chat, but I will continue to write online as a new normal too, as there are benefits to it too.

I have energy in a way I haven’t had for quite some time and so it’s a relief to be focused on music once more. We are adapting to the new climate and so with that, I have broadened how I spend time making music. My artist project is my true love, but it’s been a refreshing experience to be writing for others and creating toplines for DJ’s, singing on adverts and generally hustling to make it all work, grow and propel forward.

Perseverance is required at all times over the years I have found, to be gentle to ourselves when we need to pause for a moment knowing that music requires heaps of BRAVERY too, so it’s ok to not self-deprecate regularly. Bravery for not quite knowing where we’ll all end up, the trajectory changing course at times, no instruction manual, but doing it anyway as this is what we’re called to do.

I am sort of fascinated that through this virus we are all interconnected globally, (and it’s not to be confused with me fumbling for positives) but that we could go to almost any country and chat to any stranger and now share this in common. That it wouldn’t seem odd to ask a complete stranger as to how they have experienced this past year, how they are and how it makes the world feel smaller and kinder somehow. Food for thought.

Anna Pancaldi will be releasing her new single Bend with Curtis Walsh on 25th February and you can pre-save it here.

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