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Act of Kindness from John

In keeping with your concept of a pandemic of hope and kindness, I wanted to tell you how my musician friends here in British Columbia are using computer technology to play music together in real time, each from the safety of our own home.

When the pandemic forced a serious lockdown last fall, and the weather turned cold and damp, it became impossible to have face-to-face meetings with my fellow musicians, even outside on our back deck. In December I learned about on-line, real-time jamming software. Since I was missing the therapeutic benefit of playing live music, I installed and started using various real-time jamming software programs, including Jamulus and JackTrip, which allow us to hear each other with small enough latency that we don’t notice any delay as we play together.

The first time I was able to do this, with a friend I hadn’t played with in months, was an emotional experience. Since then many of my musical friends have been able to play together, and we have learned how to stream our live music into Zoom sessions and perform concerts in place of local coffee houses. Performing together in real time using this technology has been a comfort, counteracting the isolation brought by the pandemic.


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