The Academy of Music’s 95th annual (digital) concerts kicked off here on Monday with World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan calling for support for artists and artisans who could not embrace digital medium.
Speaking to the audience online at the inaugural event, Dr Swaminathan said these artists were as vulnerable as informal workers. She said one of the aspects of a normal life that COVID-19 took away was the enjoyment of live music and dance performances.
The Renaissance was a case study of how a society changed after a pandemic, which in this case was the Black Death, she said. “The plague almost devastated 30 to 60% of the European population at that time.
When he arrived in England in the mid-1300s, he triggered many societal changes that helped spur the Renaissance movement, ”she said.
“While waiting for our post-pandemic life, will it be as marked by creativity as the Renaissance that followed the plague? There may be similar opportunities for introspective creativity to emerge from our period of loneliness imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ”she said.
On the pandemic, she said, “The emergence of the Omicron variant clearly tells us that the virus is not done with us. We can be tired, we can be tired, we can be done with the virus. But as long as he can find opportunities to spread, to continue to multiply and replicate, he keeps looking for more people to infect. And the more it multiplies, the more it will mutate and change. This is just the nature of the virus and so we have to be able to live with the virus at some point and not allow it to take over our lives, ”said Dr Swaminathan.
Earlier in his welcome address, Academy of Music President N. Murali said that while the pandemic still rages on, the executive committee has decided not to take any risks, given the uncertainty of its trajectory, restrictions and associated regulations from time to time.
The music concerts will last 12 days with 48 concerts in all and four concerts per day. Senior concerts are chargeable. The concerts will be of shorter duration.
There would also be an academic matinee or lec-dem from December 21st.
Additionally, they will have a three-day dance festival starting January 2. Recitals will be limited to solo and Bharathanatyam, he said.
The talks were followed by the nadaswaram concert by S. Kasim and S. Babu (Nadaswaram); G.Rajan and M.Vijaykumar (Thavil).