Capital Region musicians may be unable to perform in-person for their usual audiences but they’re still making music.
With the “518 Covid Quarantine Compilation,” many have created songs surrounding COVID-19 to raise money for the Direct Relief Organization, which provides equipment and medicine to frontline healthcare workers.
The album, available on Bandcamp, was compiled by Keith Sonin, a Schodack-based musician.
“I've always used songwriting and recording to get through tough times. So pretty much as soon as the quarantine hit, I was . . . setting up my recording gear, knowing how much I'd use it to help get me through whatever was coming. And then I started seeing online that some of my friends were similarly setting up home studios, recording songs, and putting them up on YouTube, Bandcamp, Facebook, etc.,” Sonin said.
A few weeks ago, he reached out to some of his fellow musicians, most of them either Capital Region natives or residents, to see if they’d be interested in putting together an album to benefit people on the front lines of this crisis.
“We all know there are people suffering far more every day as a result of this pandemic and want to help them out as much as we can. While we're cooped up with our anxiety and loneliness, we know the real fight's going on in the hospitals and medical centers and testing facilities that are experiencing so much tragedy and risk, all the while being short on equipment and medications they desperately need to save lives and stop thousands of preventable deaths,” Sonin said.
Many musicians responded, including Super Dark Collective, Architrave, Sinkcharmer and others.
“It turns out this was even easier than I expected as there was lots of pent up demand not only from people that were recording and couldn't perform locally, but friends that got their start in the Capital District and have since moved to other places in the country, and other people I haven't heard from in years that I didn't even know were still at it. All kinds of great stuff just started pouring in and I had to cull the material and decide which of the multiple songs I got from several groups I thought would fit best on the compilation,” Sonin said.
Each song on the album was written and recorded during the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 began impacting the lives of everyone in the Capital Region and beyond. There’s a mix of rock, electronic and more featured on the album.
“518 Covid Quarantine Compilation,” is $7. After Bandcamp fees, all proceeds go to Direct Relief. For more information about the album visit 518covidquarantinecompilation.bandcamp.com. For more information about Direct Relief, visit directrelief.org.