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News |  21 Apr 2020 18:05 |  By RnMTeam

Musicians inspire each other during COVID-19 lockdown

MUMBAI: Cliff Notez recently created an annual tradition. He now takes the month of November to unplug, unwind and reflect while still making music.

“No-Notez November was something I started after being at Mass MoCA for a month in 2018. It was my first time not doing any shows and just focusing on art for 30 days. (I was) barely on social media. Pretty much off the map” said Cliff Notez, an artist comfortable making revolutionary hip-hop, Top 40-style pop and strange, mournful indie rock.

While not on an artist’s retreat, Cliff Notez continued the tradition at home in Boston in 2019. Turns out “No-Notez November” served as a kind of quarantine bootcamp.

“In terms of writing, this is usually when things flow out the most. There’s a reason I started taking time to be away from people and events. So with all this time buried in my room with my keyboard directly next to my bed, (ideas) start coming out” he said.

Robbed of gigs, group rehearsal and recording sessions at studios, full-time musicians have a lot of time on their hands. If they can find the psychic energy, quarantine can be a golden opportunity to write — or offer a hand to their peers. Musicians looking for a spark of inspiration can subscribe to Cliff Notez’s “Clee beats care package” via and get beats and other musical ideas delivered to their inbox.

But summoning energy during a global pandemic can be impossible.

“I write all the time but I’m in no state to read back what I’m putting down in this moment,” said singer/songwriter/indie rock champ Will Dailey, who has spent most of his free time hosting web concerts to raise money for the staff of shuttered local venues. “With my music, I can do something right now that alleviates a sliver of the suffering, forges a connection and in turn helps myself cope.” “If we are only finding a raft for ourselves, such as writing in my room all day, then I’ll end up drifting alone and I won’t be able to shut it off by going out if I drift too far,” he added. “The copious amounts of paper at my feet will be read eventually. Just not in these early stages.”

Dailey’s virtual shows have inspired many to give. But maybe they have also inspired some to write.

Rock/Americana/honky tonk queen Sarah Borges says these unique times have offered a glimpse into other artists’ creative process (and homes).

“I’ve mainly been inspired to write in the past couple of weeks because of all of the great online concerts that musicians have been putting on,” Borges said. “Seeing my peers and heroes playing in their living rooms has somehow made the elusive songwriting process seem just a little more accessible.”

Whether you are a songwriter or producer, teacher or bartender, don’t beat yourself up if you find these days unproductive. Email Cliff Notez for some beats, watch Will Dailey perform digitally or just conquer that mountain of dishes while blasting Sarah Borges’ swingin’, screamin’ “Love’s Middle Name.”