Perhaps for many of us at the moment, like the experience of living at a monastery, days can feel like weeks, and weeks can feel like days. Gregorian chants also offer a peculiar sense of musical time, and of time in general – days pass in music with many repetitions but with subtle differences, and time can feel seemingly suspended. Musically speaking, the sensation of time within a Gregorian chant is not something that has the drive and formal delineation of a classical sonata structure, for example. It is more like an eternal oscillation, which at once both reaffirms and cancels time. We are perhaps experiencing a similar feeling of time now. This is, in one sense, a restriction, but in another, perhaps an opportunity to exploit by immersing ourselves in it. Doing so is something Gregorian chant can teach. As we look forward to better times ahead, we feel we should also take advantage of our current situation to reflect on the world we want after the lockdowns subsist and to defy this period of isolation by spreading “The contagion of hope.”

Wishing you all peace, good health, and remembering all of those afflicted by the contagion,

The Neumz Team