New Year Reflections Pt. 1 | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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New Year Reflections Pt. 1

Notes from the local music scene on what we've been through and what's to come.


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Who better to send us off from 2020 and into 2021 than SLC's own musical mainstays? Here we touch base with some folks City Weekly has talked to throughout this strange year—and some new ones—as we move into a new one.

Bly Wallentine, musician, producer and owner of Studio Studio Dada
How did this year change your relationship with music?
I created more music this year than any other year of my life. Creating music has been a coping mechanism and healing tool, a means of meditation and introspection. Relative solitude gave me the opportunity to experiment and further develop intimacy with sound. I seem to have sort of anthropomorphized sound to help me feel less lonely through all the disconnectedness.

What's your dream show to go to after the pandemic is over?
I would love to go to an It Foot, It Ears / Corner Case / Helichrysum / Muzzle Tung show!

What are your plans for 2021?
I'm working on a new psych-pop album, and I hope to get a community band/orchestra in Provo going again if the pandemic ends.

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Bianca Quigley, violist, composer and music student at Westminster College
How did this year change your relationship with music?
I'm a very goal-oriented person, and without the prospect of different concerts to be practicing for, it was very difficult to keep myself motivated. As I began making myself practice for practice's sake, I rekindled what made me fall in love with classical music and started playing for myself.

What have you missed the most this year?
Probably performing for an audience. Probably the most jarring thing about performing without a live audience is playing my heart out and, after finishing a piece, looking up and not hearing any applause. In those moments, the reason that we couldn't play for people live felt very overwhelming, but that feeling only lasted a few seconds.

What positives have you found?
I've always been a little afraid of being by myself, but my roommates left to stay at their parents' homes after the pandemic hit, and I was alone in my house for three months. I definitely got over my fear of being alone, and it gave me a lot of time to compose. I like writing music in the middle of the night, so it was also nice not having to worry about waking people up or annoying them.

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Justin Cornwall, DJ, tour manager
How did this year change your relationship with music?
I finally had time to step back and reevaluate what kind of path I want to be on within music. Things have been so busy the last few years, I haven't really had a spare minute to consciously lock in a direction. 2020 has allowed me to step back and decide what I want to give/get in terms of music. I've been able to put a lot of energy into music production to come out of this with new material.

What positives have you found?
Highlights of 2020 include a Goblin Valley adventure and DJing in the rain during a SLC Skate Babe skate night at Jordan Park.

What's your favorite music you found this year?
Local: Kasadoom's newest single "Witches" is a current favorite. Non-local: Jamie XX's "Idontknow" is one of the best dance records I've ever felt.

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Cecil Smith, PK Opal, booking for Twilite Doom Lounge, former HUM Juror
What have you missed the most this year?
I miss my queer music community! There's a certain magic that happens when you support an artist you know at a local venue. I can't really describe it, but it does feel arcane to me. I'm realizing now how lucky I am just to have previously experienced it.

What positives have you found?
I feel so much less inclined to follow a capitalist mode of production when it comes to music. It's really easy to fall into this mindset of a 'successful' artist being one that makes lots of money. I'm just happy that my friends like what I make.

Does your band or project have plans for 2021?
PK Opal will be releasing an album titled INKY at some point in 2021. I don't tend to give myself deadlines, but a few singles will be coming soon for sure!

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Josaleigh Pollett, musician
What have you missed the most this year?
Any sort of live music whatsoever! I even miss getting ignored while playing in the corner of a loud restaurant. I was so looking forward to doing a big album release show to celebrate everyone involved in making my new record, and I really hope we get to in the New Year.

Who are your favorite local music peddlers?
Vincent Draper and the Culls, Bly Wallentine, Marny Proudfit, Lavender Vinyl, Diabolical Records, Graywhale!

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Darin Piccoli, Owner of The State Room
In the New Year, do you anticipate any changes in our music community?
[We] are seeing an overwhelming shift to boutique and independent artists and agencies—we hope the days are gone of the 'big box' promoters and agencies. Just like in retail, people are craving uniqueness, and are not going to take the concert experience for granted any longer. They will demand quality for the price of admission, and that is a win for the smaller promoters and artists out there. Here's to 2021!