Arts and Culture

As 2020 draws to a close, we asked local musicians and composers to answer one simple question… What does 2020 sound like?

These were the responses we got.


Craig Wagner
“The title is the Hebrew word for the number twenty, which is a powerful number in numerology and kept showing up in various ways in this piece as I wrote it. The sections were 20 bars, the figure in the opening ended up being in 5/4 which multiplied equals 20 – all odd phrase lengths and meters but was not done so consciously; I didn’t realize until I wrote it down… kinda spooky. “


“We don’t think this requires much explanation, but we invoke the definition of the Japanese artistic concept Jo Ha Kyu. Roughly translated as ‘beginning, break, rapid,’ it means all things (a song, a beat, a play, a scene, a year, a breath) should and do begin slowly, speed up, and end swiftly. Then the rhythm repeats.”


“2020 sounds swampy.”


Bendigo Fletcher
“Given the time to stay home without a real rehearsal agenda, we’ve found ourselves in a lot of spontaneous mantra jamming in 2020. This tends to happen as someone begins to play a riff and the rest of the group follows. This clip is from a phone recording in our practice space back in June as our city came together in daily protests against the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of local law enforcement. Though this year’s been difficult for lots of reasons, we’re grateful to have had more opportunities to explore the less calculated realm of making music together and to have found some peace and healing in that process.”


Brian Schreck
“This piece was created in early April when the ancillary staff from the Norton Cancer Institute were furloughed for a few weeks. I was sitting at my piano slowly losing one marble at a time and making strong eye contact with best friend (dog) Peaches. My caption: April 2020, chromatic telepathy with Peaches.”


Kiana Del


Marissa Thomas


Brigid Kaelin


Casey Powell


Jecorey Arthur


What did 2020 sound like to you?

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Tyler is the photographer and videographer for Louisville Public Media.