Our Daily Breather: Jennifer Koh On Finding Carefree Joy

May 18, 2020
Originally published on May 18, 2020 9:12 am

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Jennifer Koh

Where: New York, N.Y.

Recommendation: Finding a source of fearlessness and joy


As a musician, I engage with the action of listening to others and the action of physicalizing music.

Live music is a communal experience for all of us (musicians and audience), a space where we create "togetherness" inside a physical space. Sound disappears within milliseconds of its creation — but it is the connectivity within and between these sounds that create music. This connectivity also creates relationships between all of us in the room, bringing us together in imagined spaces where the music resides in each of us.

As a measure to protect ourselves and others, all performances involving a large group of people are no longer possible. The joy of making music with other musicians and hearing the breath of every single person in that room does not exist in this COVID world.

How do we survive this period emotionally, creatively, financially and physically?

The first steps I made towards survival was physical. I washed my hands and didn't touch my face. I made music for solace. But I was not engaging with life; I was only performing the physical precautions we must now take in this time. How could I throw caution to the wind and engage with reckless abandonment even if it was only in a tiny space in my life? How could I experience fearlessness again?

I bought a trampoline. I jump up and down on it like a child without a care in the world. I found the place for reckless abandonment and fearlessness and joy and happiness. Fun is to be found in a trampoline.


Jennifer Koh's most recent release is Limitless, based on her recital project of the same name. Each Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, she premieres new works, composed for her Alone Together project, on her Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.

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