The Lockdown Is Over, BUT (again that famous “but”) There Are No Concerts 

I wonder if you know that feeling when, in a total absence of focus, you hurry to do something that requires a split second and at the same time you hit the edge of the table leg with your little toe . . .  It is the moment when you are not really aware that you are in pain or how long the pain lasted; the moment when you just know that you are in an ignorance from which your brain is numb and you don’t know what to do.

I think that is just the kind of moment that has been happening to us over the last two months.

For some people, this situation has brought a lot of strength and willpower that their monotonous everyday routine had prevented them from accumulating and transfusing into real values. For some this situation has brought – at long last – a lot of free time to devote to themselves. And for others it has brought problems they might not have had if they had not had so much time to spend in an environment from which they were running away… And finally, for some, this situation has brought a lot of stress, suffering, and the pain of losing loved ones, unfortunately.

“Lockdown” as such sounds much more unbearable than it really was in this form, although I am not sure I have ever encountered any similar form. In my case, which is closely connected to my profession, this is exactly what it sounds like – unbearable!

Our very way of life, which we had lived for decades, was cut short very brutally, without any explanation, without any overtures or explanations that the cheers and ovations would be replaced by the eerie silence of the empty streets of Belgrade that came in through the windows of our homes. The absence of the micro world and the rush of adrenaline that happens before each performance have been replaced by our attempts to turn that energy into something else. Most of the time, I was a silent witness to the culinary experiments I prepared for my family. The patting on the back and, above all, their empathy, resulted in a lot of exaggerated enthusiasm, even if it had no merit. The benefit of this was the support I got to sit late into the night with bottles of wine, browsing a website very familiar to all of us where you could hear lots of good “live” concerts and performances of enormous classical opuses. I think this was a unique opportunity to finally do what we had dreamed about doing but could never get around to it, and that is having time to devote to ourselves first of all.

But what now?

The lockdown is over; the bans have been reduced to a minimum. People’s consciousness has been compressed to self-preservation, everything is returning to normal.


Except for our profession.

Somehow, I have the impression that things have been easier so far. You had a pattern that you had to follow and you did not have much space to improvise, and now this space has been filled with an emptiness that, justifiably, prevents us from living the only way we know how. Any attempt to stimulate the audience through video or audio links (with due respect) was never able to replicate the synergy that had taken place in crowded halls in which we shared emotions with each other. For an artist, the rehearsals and performances are only the first half in which the result defines the match, and what happens later I would call the best moment of insight that corrects us and gives us further strength for subsequent concerts. And that has been taken away from us.

Clearly, a lot has changed with this unfortunate event, but I also hope that after everything that has happened to us, the principle will be preserved and we will only work on the nuances.