At Home Creativity: Conner, Age 23

 In Voices of Young People

In response to the newfound realities of social distancing, including remote learning for students and working from home for many young professionals, Springtide™ Research Institute launched the At Home Creativity Campaign. This Spring 2020 campaign invited young people ages 13⁠ to 25 in the United States to submit creative works responding to the prompt, “How are you finding connection and meaning in these days of physical distancing?” The variety of submissions included creative writing, poetry, essays, visual art, films, original music, and photography. The top five pieces were selected by a panel of judges at Springtide and are featured in the At Home Creativity series within our Voices of Young People blog. 

Here is an original music composition from Conner, 23, in California:

“Panorama for Orchestra” 

This piece is dedicated to all the quarantine hikes I took with my beloved partner, Shanta, in Los Angeles. At the top of each trail, we would take a panorama photo.

As part of his At Home Creativity Campaign submission, Conner also shared the score he created for “Panorama for Orchestra”: Download the full score here.


Our Q&A with Conner:

What inspired you to create this piece? 

My hikes with my partner in the foothills above Los Angeles and then taking panorama photos inspired this composition. 

What was your creative process for making this piece at home?  

I sketched an outline of the work, then made a draft of the piece in the notation program Sibelius, and finally edited the work several times with my composition teacher. 

Who are the people you’re safely connecting with during this time of social distancing? 

I am safely connecting with family, fellow musicians, my partner, and many acquaintances through social media.  

Are trusted adults checking in with you (inside or outside your home) during this time? What does that connection mean to you?

Many of my current and former professors, colleagues outside the home, as well as my family inside the home are checking in. It means the world, and it helps me to maintain my mental health.  

Anything else you’d like us to know about this project, your process, or your at-home experience?

Composing and recording my music has been at times frustrating and time consuming during the pandemic, but it is a welcome distraction to the enormous problems occurring in the world. Going forward, I am looking for a way to allow my music to help people in need during these times. 

Here is one of the photos that inspired my composition.

Springtide’s recent Social Distance Study found that for many young people, sheltering in place and social distancing provoke fear and uncertainty, leading to increased levels of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. This survey also found that the single most important way to mitigate loneliness is for trusted adults to reach out and connect with young people. 

Although young people continue to find creative outlets even through the challenges of COVID-19, remember that our research confirms they still need trusted adults to reach out to them. Consider how you might connect to the young people in your circle of care by engaging their interests or encouraging their creative pursuits. 

Image created by Natalia Lopes. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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