Dennis Brott will be providing the music for a series of videos featuring professional dancers in masks. Brott recorded the soundtrack for the series “Projet Masque” on Friday, which in his opinion would have been impossible for him a few months ago.
“When I went to the cello when I got back, my bow on the string was like that,” he told News Gob, shaking his hand. “I just couldn’t get any sound out.”
Brott was in Europe for a number of concerts in late February and early March, and caught COVID-19 as the severity of the virus came into focus. The 69-year-old ended up in a coma for 32 days at the Montreal CHUM hospital in the intensive care unit.
“When I look at my medical records, it’s a horror story. Several times I’ve really been on the sidelines, you know? They called my family and said,” This doesn’t look good, “he told News Gob.
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Brott eventually beat the virus but is still in painstaking rehab. He’s worked with a physical therapist who specializes in helping musicians cope with injuries but still doesn’t believe he’s 100 percent.
“I have a pretty strong desire to live. I have a lot of things that I want to do in my life and I was very aware that I had to fight to stay alive, ”he said.
When asked to loan his music to a new project promoting the wearing of masks, he called it “a no-brainer”.
“We all have to become lawyers, lawyers who encourage, not criticize, but encourage, and of course lead by example, other people to wear masks,” he said.
The music teacher Elaine Gaertner came up with the “Projet Masque” out of her own frustration.
“I noticed that many students in the area were coming out of their schools, gathering in groups, tearing off their masks and being very close to each other,” she said.
Gaertner works closely with dancers and musicians and decided to mobilize them to tackle the problem.
She set out to produce a series of videos in which dancers would perform in masks. Brott enthusiastically agreed to provide the music, and News Gob was there when he recorded it. Brott said, given his experience, people who deny the dangers of COVID-19 upset him.
“I don’t wish anybody bad, but they need to read some hospital records about what happens to people who get COVID,” he said.
“When you have a severe case of COVID, your other organs are affected and your lungs are white. I was supplied with 70 percent oxygen. The minimum should be 92 and then you are in the danger zone. “
The masks for the video series are made by local Montreal artisans like Katrin Leblond.
READ MORE: Lethbridge Men End One-of-a-Kind Electric Cello During COVID-19 Pandemic
Gaertner brought professional dancers on board from troupes like Ballets Jazz Montreal.
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