A Richmond-based performing artist and director has teamed up with similarly frustrated colleagues to record duets – all while isolated in their own homes.
Jill Raymond – who writes, teaches and rehearses out of her purpose-built apartment/studio in Capstan – recently kicked off “The Isolation Sessions” to help feed her artistic soul during the pandemic and perhaps bring a little sunshine into people’s lives.
Essentially, Raymond has collaborated with fellow musicians/singers in duets/trios to record videos from isolation and then edit them together like a live recording.
Together, they’ve already produced several delightful videos, which are available for free on social media, including a rendition of Sammy Davis Jr’s Candyman with Joseph Spitale.
“I was feeling a little helpless in the current situation; so much creativity and performance preparation has just been completely frozen in this moment for so many people,” said Raymond, who sings in some of the videos and plays the ukulele in another.
“My classes are cancelled (and) my two shows that are slated for later this year still hang in the balance.
“I don't know when I'll next be able to be in the same room with many of my artistic friends and colleagues.
“(So), I thought 'what can I actually do (in) this situation to create something good?’ It seemed a natural choice to figure out a way to make music and performances together but, actually, separately.”
Raymond explained how she uses editing software to pair the videos, with whoever is playing the main instrument recording themselves first, before the other listens to that recording through headphones while recording their own video.
“Then they send that to me and I edit them together. It's pretty fun as a lot of the videos have some kind of interaction which gives it a 'live' feeling, even though it is all done separately and at different times.”
Raymond added that, as well as cheering up a few people at home, who’re likely stuck in the same situation, The Isolation Sessions might give local and international artists the chance to collaborate and give her a worthwhile project to “pour some joy into during this difficult time.”
The Isolation Sessions are available at:
Any other musicians interested in taking part, can email Raymond at firstname.lastname@example.org.