Creative Quarantine: Singer/Songwriter/Composer Nicholas Tremulis

Nicholas Tremulis

1. How are you holding up?

I’m doing ok, once I resigned myself to the facts that God wasn’t fucking with me, personally. It sort of seemed like at every turn I was shortstopped by the pandemic. Landed in NYC to be with my best friend who’d had a stroke on the day that they locked down the hospital. Ready to press my solo piano record on the day pressing plant shut down. It all seems trivial but at the time I was just pissy about it. Like a brat! Anyway, just finished off the Columbia College semester turning performance bands into record artists. It took a lot of time but was rewarding. Also shot a video with my family during the pandemic to one of my piano songs. That was a beautiful experience.

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

I’m not exactly sure it has as when I’m working on something I’m very alone with my thoughts. That hasn’t changed really. However, as an audience member, I can feel the collective sense of longing and pathos that inadvertently seems to attach itself to some of the stuff I listen to. I’m aware of the power of that from the longing I feel in myself. I’m Greek. I like to hug! I’m very emotional. Crying is a bit unpredictable these days.

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

I’ve had to learn to engineer my own recordings at home, mostly to teach my classes but after watching a few youtube videos it came rather easy. Not so sure I’ll stick with it though. I love engineers and studios. I do my best work with my eyes closed.

4. Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well?

I’d have to say Ivan Neville who contracted the virus and performed at home on the Dumpstaphunk site every week to help clear his lungs and make some scratch. I feel for all my tribe out there, though. It’s tough, but it never isn’t tough to be an artist and musician. We’ll survive this and figure it out before the rest of the world does. It’s how we roll.

Nicholas Tremulis is a performing songwriter and composer. He lives in Chicago.