For our second sshhmute Spotlight blog, we are featuring sshhmute artist - Chris Tedesco (LA Session Musician).
Musicians all over the world have been affected by COVID-19. How has the pandemic affected your career as a professional musician?
"The Covid 19 Pandemic put a squash on recording sessions and live gigs outside of my home studio so income went away, but my home studio recording income actually went up during all this."
One of the many reasons that musicians love our sshhmutes is that it gives them the ability to practice at home. How did your sshhmute help your practice routine during the COVID-19 lockdown?
"I’ve been using all my sshhmutes on my Trumpet, Valve Trombone and French Horn for many years now. I warm up with them and often times practice with them even in my soundproof studio in order to protect my ears at my stage of my career being a little older now."
Since musicians weren’t able to do any physical performances during lockdown, did you manage to do any online performances or recordings while stuck at home?
"As I said up above, since I’ve been recording from home for 17 years, my session work went up for the first 8 months in the Pandemic and then it levelled off. I’m doing many sessions playing Trumpet (my main horn), Valve Trombone and French Horn as well."
Something that has been brought up recently is around how important it is for musicians to be able to practice while on lockdown to maintain good mental health. What are your thoughts on this?
"Practice wise, my hour of maintenance a day is like therapy because I tune out to the rest of the world and focus on my process to play correctly and the sshhmutes do not hinder my warmups and maintenance exercises at all. Mentally, the Pandemic was depressing in the respect I wasn’t able to work with other players in a safe setting inside in LA anywhere."
Do you believe that using a practice mute is an essential part of a musician’s practice routine? And if yes, why?
"I especially think that a great practice mute is an essential "peace keeper” when there’s other musicians in the room that would rather not be subjected to a brass instrument warming up near them. It’s just too much let's say for a violinist or an oboe player to handle if we’re too close to them!!"
Now that things are starting to return to normal in the United States of America, what exciting gigs/releases do you have coming up?
"Let's see exciting gigs and things like that?…. Well, the next three days here in LA, I’m contracting and playing an all LA Allstar Big Band at East West Studios for a composer/arranger coming in from Florida to have the “LA” studio experience. I don't want to say this is a typical week but it does happen a lot in "normal” times, whatever those might be. And hopefully will return again. We all had to go get a COVID test and prove negative in order to be able to work inside a studio this week."