Double bass player, singer, and composer Aida Salakka is a Finnish musician based in Helsinki. Growing up with musician parents, she learned to sing and play multiple musical instruments, but the one instrument that she fell in love with was the double bass. She started playing it at the age of 16 at the Kerava Music Institute and was accepted as a double bass student in the classical department at Sibelius Academy five years later. Aida received her Master’s degree in 2021.
Nowadays, Aida works as a freelancing orchestra musician, double bass pedagogue, and as composer and performer of her own music. Aida is passionate about music that reflects current social topics, and she incorporates these themes in the music she creates. When Aida is not making music, you will most likely find her water jogging in Helsinki’s swimming halls. She likes to start and finish her water jogging with a dip in the cold water pool where the water is 6° celsius! Which Aida has found to be a great exercise in... keeping cool.
In March 2020, I listened to a speech given by Dr Sara Cody, the public health director of Santa Clara County, California. This was when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO. There was one thing in Dr Cody’s speech that stuck with me. She said, “Today, start working on not touching your face because one of the main ways viruses spread, is when you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.”
I found myself thinking about this phrase all the time, and it inspired me to combine these words with different musical patterns using my double bass. This experiment lead unexpectedly to a musical composition that I finished in February 2021 and gave the name Pandemic Diaries.
Pandemic Diaries is a solo piece for double bass, voice, and an audio file consisting of excerpts from two speeches given by Dr Cody and my own monologue, reflecting the still current pandemic time. In my monologue, I give voice to some of my thoughts – and fears – from the time of the first lockdown in March 2020.
Two years on, some of these thoughts and fears are still very relevant.