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Local musician turns quarantine into creativity with impromptu performances

by Tianna G. Hansen

Across the globe, people in quarantine are turning to creative methods of keeping busy, staying connected, and finding light among the darkness of a global pandemic.

Jim Padilla, a Churchville resident and member of local musical group Asylum Wind Band, is one musician using this quarantine to write songs about the effects of the coronavirus on our lives.  

While staying home, Jim has been crafting his songs while sitting on the couch with a guitar and notepad.

Jim says songs can come to him in a variety of ways and he never knows when one will emerge. Many times, he’ll come across a word or a phrase that will inspire some emotion he wants to express. 

Other times, he’ll create the melody first and then add words later. 

“I’m constantly writing words and melodies and filing them away for later use,” says Jim. “Some words and melodies can wait years for the perfect pairing. It’s almost like finding the right jigsaw puzzle piece to complete the song picture.”

Then there are magical moments when everything comes together at once – like with these quarantine tunes. 

“These latest songs just popped out and it was all I could do to keep up with jotting them down,” Jim says. “I felt a strong need to contribute in some way to our embattled community. I wrote and performed these recent songs as impromptu videos in my home and put them onto YouTube and Facebook as quickly as I could get them out there.”

Times like this can spark rapid creativity in some. 

For Jim, sharing these songs and videos gave him a way to connect with the community through freshly created music and lyrics focusing on something everyone can relate to – the current state of our world, living through this and still finding ways to create, to live, to connect, to carry on.

So far, Jim has recorded and released three song videos on the topic of the coronavirus and plans to keep creating.

He wrote “What A Way To Die (Ode To John Prine)” after hearing of Prine’s death due to the virus. 

“I had seen his recent performance of “When I Get To Heaven” and it begged for a soulful postmortem,” Jim said. “This song seemed to write itself in just a few hours. I was able to channel the creativity needed to produce a fitting tribute to this beloved singer/songwriter. The response has been amazing and has demonstrated how revered he really was by so many.”  

You can find a link to the video performance of this tribute song below, along with the two others Jim has created and shared, “I Got Them ‘Stay At Home Blues’” which is a coronavirus quarantine lament, and “Eve of Destruction (A Coronavirus Parody).” 

In the videos, Jim plays guitar and harmonica while singing. 

The other two songs are parody and fun, sure to bring a smile to the listener with lyrics like “looking forward to taking out the trash, grabbing the mail or even cutting the grass – anything to get me out of here. I wish this bug would just disappear.”

Jim was a little surprised to find the response to this recent trio of songs was so overwhelmingly positive. 

“I realize now – more than ever – we are all affected by the same things going on around us. I feel blessed that I’m able to contribute something that resonates with so many people and offers a little bit of spiritual relief.”

While the world is in an especially anxious time, the ability to unite and find common ground through what we are all experiencing and living through (something sure to go down in history), is what keeps many people going.

Please check out the links below and feel free to leave a “like” or a comment and subscribe to Jim’s YouTube channel for upcoming content.

“What A Way To Die (Ode To John Prine)”

“I Got Them (Stay At Home Blues)”

“Eve of Destruction (A Coronavirus Parody)”