What does it mean to be an “essential worker”? Who does “essential work”? Is creative work essential?
Brooklyn-based composer Tim Peck began the Essential Work(er)s Project (EWP) to investigate these questions on the eve of the New York State PAUSE. The EWP is a collective process for musicians to improvise new works in response to one another, collaborate virtually, and share the results of these collaborations with a public audience.
Artists have always helped us interrogate our shared humanity, and the EWP highlights this essential creative work undertaken by musicians and creative makers. By framing a space for creative improvisation during a time of pandemic, and providing a mechanism for mutual aid, the EWP explores the contours of our current socially-distant lives.