I have already talked about how the sociopolitical situations in 2020 (and part of the 2010s for that matter), have helped to provide inspiration for new pieces. In this post, I concentrate on what composers and performers can or should do to stay active in their field despite restrictions. The first, and perhaps most important, obstacle to overcome is learning to work remotely in a virtual setting. This means collaborating and communicating with performers or music commissioners from home via social networking technology, video conferencing, and e-mail. Rehearsals and performances are restricted to remote locations, which has enabled composers and performers to (re)consider and adapt to performance spaces. It also (theoretically) eliminates the possibility of physical travel because the composer is now able to work with performers from other states, cities, or countries without having to leave home. Working virtually on a music project also reinforces the importance of Internet etiquette when it comes to collaboration and commission opportunities. Those wanting more details about that specific topic should check out my post from July 2018.
I have also witnessed virtual music performances in 2020 where certain musicians or ensembles have had to play under extreme conditions, I refer to performing music in public while wearing masks and applying Social Distancing protocols out of health concerns and safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Of course, not all musicians agree with these regulations, openly expressing personal frustration. Still, this opposition in the music world represents but a small percentage of people. The few performance spaces that have reopened in the midst of the virus still implement safety procedures (like temperature checks and hand sanitizing stations) to keep both performers and audiences safe. Working under these conditions, while practicable, can still prove to be a risky decision. From my perspective as a composer, I find that it is best to work and collaborate from home and usually try to avoid face to face interactions unless it is required.