«What I want is to play!»: Cope mechanisms in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The coronavirus pandemic has shaken everyday life. In the music scene, the criminalization of nightlife has led to a drastic reduction in live music (Nofre et al. 2020), and artistic professionals, like other gig-workers, found themselves in a position of vulnerability (Jean 2020). Portugal, like many other countries has oscillated between “state of emergency” and some level of pseudo-normality, with measures constantly changing, sometimes hampering, sometimes preventing, the planning of events in the short and medium-term. In this context, culture in general, and music in particular, had been called a “savior”, helping to manage covid-19 stress (Pratt 2020; Vidas et al. 2021; Fink et al. 2021). Nevertheless, the sector felt left behind and musicians who lost concerts during the pandemic are still facing the economic and psychological consequences of two years of drastic reduction of live performances. I want to look into strategies of coping and adaptability, from a double lens perspective, as a researcher and a musician. Some of them may be individual and internal, like the duality between realism, denial or hope, that affect important individual decision making. Other approaches may concern social interactions and the sense of community (Scheele et al. 2021), on a spectrum from detached relationships to establishing new, functional and positive adaptations (Antonini Philippe, Schiavio, and Biasutti 2020). I will explore how musicians respond to the transformations imposed during the confinement, creatively and practically, in order to maintain the social aspect of music – crossing areas such music-making, performances, networking, among others (Dias 2019; Levstek et al. 2021).
PeriodJul 2022
Event titleICTM World Conference
Event typeConference
Conference number46
LocationLisboa, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational