News this week that Jess Gillam is launching another lockdown virtual scratch orchestra brought a smile to my face.
As role models go Gillam’s activity throughout 2020 in response to COVID has been impressive, acting as a beacon for young musicians and amateurs alike.
That along with her obvious industry, determination and spirit, not only maintains Gillam in the education and entertainment worlds, but also injects a little bit of hope and sparkle at a time when its needed most. The Let it Be mashup from a few weeks ago, even if you assume the lockdown style won’t be compelling on a first glimpse, does tickle the tear ducts come the final chorus.
Her latest project calls on musicians across the world to submit video recordings of Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride using music downloaded from the Virtual Scratch Orchestra website. All audio will be used in the final mashup, along with some of the video.
Set against the global pandemic and the economic crisis its brought about, Gillam’s marketing narrative in 2020 has shaken off the initial record-label fuelled contrivance it seemed to have pre-COVID. Her education work makes her relevant and relatable, just by virtue of it being needed and appreciated right now.
This combined with her second album released this year – Time – featuring a carefully selected running order of music suited to her instrument illustrates Gillam’s increasing maturity as a musician and an educator.
For more information on Jess Gillam’s third Virtual Scratch Orchestra visit her website.