Music in lockdown - Peter Martin

Peter's first instrument was the classical guitar, which he started playing as a child in Spain. He developed a strong interest in early music while studying Music at Cambridge University, and he now mainly plays the Renaissance lute, theorbo, and Baroque guitar. Peter is also an active member of the Lute Society. 

Rebecca Mary Haslam spoke to Peter about working as a musician during the pandemic:

Since I work for a music agency, this is where the pandemic and lockdown have really hit. With concerts cancelled en masse and at short notice from February 2020 onwards, the impact on the business has been huge with the sudden loss of income. We've had to make major changes, including redundancies and getting rid of the office. As you can imagine, this has been the real stress of the last year. We have now managed to stabilise our trading but obviously we are not out of the other side yet.

Compared to that, any effect on my personal music-making has been insignificant. I don't earn a living from performing, so the drop in the number of concerts hasn't really been an issue. Musically, it helps that the lute is self-contained with a huge solo repertoire, so it's not essential to play with other people. In fact, the group I play with, Musica Antica Rotherhithe, has been able to give four live-streamed concerts since September, with professional video and sound, so we feel quite privileged.  Still, we're all looking forward to getting back to playing for a real audience from the summer.

I think people will always want to go out, and the live experience is very different from the on-screen one, so I feel fairly confident that audiences will return once they're allowed to do so.

By Rebecca Mary Haslam 


Page last updated:

November 30, 2021

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