Well…the investigative landscape of our project has changed drastically, as our terrain has been limited to our living rooms…literally.
But, we will go the (social) distance and persevere the best we can. As Barney might say, we won’t let it ruin our day. While we will have to manage our expectations, we still plan on creating something to honor the life and music of Barney Kessel.
We have an official title for our project: Illuminating a Musical Legacy: The Barney Kessel Project
As we have no access to our primary source documents beyond what we had collected before campus closed, we have realized that it is possible to make *NEW* primary sources. We hope to explore this concept through the avenue of interviews. More to come!
The prolific variety in Barney’s life has been made clearer as each of us realized that we focused on aspects of his life that are entirely different from each other. And this poses a challenge as we attempt to synthesize, connect, and organize our findings – but it is a satisfying challenge.
A good “Barneyism” to remember is that the only way to get through COVID-19 is through self-care: “3. Do 10 BX Program 4. Watch Diet 5. Take Vitamins 6. Breathe!”
We owe the team at UMKC LaBudde Special Collections and the UMKC WordPress folks a debt of gratitude for continuing to make this project possible, in any of its forms.
Our hearts go out to our friends, colleagues, and fellow humans who are struggling during this time. And while “there are moments that the words don’t reach” (thank you, Hamilton), we borrow our stance from Leonard Bernstein: “This will be our reply to [confusion and despair]: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
Stay safe, dear friends!
Until next time,