Interviews Video Interviews

Interview: Space to just be — Bassist Bam Rodriguez on staying creative during the lockdown and his new project, Music to be Bored

Faced with the ongoing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians have taken to their living rooms to record videos and present live online performances. Few have been more active than New York-based Venezuelan bassist Bam Rodriguez.

Every single evening at 9pm EST, Bam is streaming live on Facebook, presenting another installment of Music to Be Bored, an electronic project he describes as “music created with the intention of opening our creative paths, for meditation, sleep, to be bored and sit with yourself and your boredom, to stimulate your brain through sound in different ways or to simply BE.”

On Sundays, he performs with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Virtual Birdland. In between practicing and playing online gigs, Bam has discovered he loves stop motion animation. He has been spending his time making a series of music videos, which have recently led to his first commission.   

“I love it more than I’d imagined,” he texted me when we were setting up the interview. “Isolation has been a good thing, rather than a heavy one.”

I met Bam last year, when he was touring my native Romania with the Nikolett Pankovits Sextet and we’ve become good friends. Earlier this week, we had a conversation over Zoom, wherein he talked to me about staying creative during the lockdown, playing with Arturo O’Farrill, learning stop motion animation and the origin of Music to be Bored.

Check out the video interview below and please subscribe to Bam’s Patreon to support his work!

Photo credit: Maria Isabel Esparis

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