Music for the Times

Sometime last year, when we were all hunkered down in our bunkers made of hoarded toilet paper and existential dread was creeping through the streets like the green-mist curse of Egypt in The Ten Commandments, I discovered a gentleman called Patrick Dexter. He’s a cellist who lives in a bucolic cottage somewhere in the west of Ireland. Every few days throughout the long, dark Lost Year of the Plague, he posted a video to social media of himself, sitting outside in the clean sunshine, playing for us while the Irish breeze ruffled the grass and his dog roamed the grounds behind him. His musical selections cover the gamut from traditional Irish songs to classical pieces to covers of popular hits, and just last week he released his first original composition, written for his niece who was born during the height of the pandemic. I’ve enjoyed all of his videos — as I tweeted to him at some point, they’re refreshing moments of grace in a dark world, affirmations of life and beauty that came along just when I needed them most. But there’s one in particular that I keep going back to. I’ve listened to it a number of times over the past few days…

An affirmation of life and beauty… just when I need it. It’s been a hell of a week.