As an example of how fast the COVID-19 pandemic can upend plans, last Friday morning the musician Eileen Ivers had an interview scheduled with the Homer News. At the last minute she bowed out, texting that she had to board a plane back home to New York after her Colorado tour got cancelled.
On Monday when she did an interview, Ivers’ entire Alaska tour was scratched, including a performance March 27 at the Homer Mariner Theatre sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts that was to include a Kilt and Legs contest.
“We just want to get out and share our music,” Ivers said in the phone interview. “It’s a tough time.”
Ivers and her band, Universal Roots, are working to reschedule the Alaska trip in the summer.
“We would love to get back to beautiful Alaska and play,” she said. “Homer is a special place.”
Called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by the New York Times, Ivers learned Irish and world music while growing up in the Bronx. The daughter of Irish immigrants, by age 8 she played Irish music by ear and began sweeping Celtic music competitions. She has performed with symphony orchestras and musicians like Sting, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, and on several film soundtracks.
A performance in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was pulled at the very last moment when she did a stage sound check.
“Of course we understand. You have to understand,” she said. “Safety is a priority.”
Ivers videoed that sound check of her and her band playing her version of Pachelbel’s Canon — Pachelbel’s Frolics — before an empty theater. That video is on her Facebook page at facebook.com/OfficialEileenIvers.
“In one minute it shows the feeling we’re all experiencing at the time,” she said. “…Every day it’s changing. We’re waiting to hear, doing the best we can at this point.”
This spring’s tour also was to promote her latest CD, “Scattering the Light.” Rob Weir of Off Center View said of her new CD, “Talk about a timely album! …’Scatter the Light’ is a St. Patrick’s Day treat. More than that …think of it as the kind of message we need in our time of COVID-19. It’s about connecting to family, faith, memory, living in the moment, and overcoming obstacles. Above all, it’s about gratitude.”
Ivers called “Scattering the Light” a thematic record “that deals with positivity in human nature even in looking at life’s obstacles — ironically, resonating at this time right now.”
Though she can’t be in Homer, Ivers said to listen to her new CD. Samples are on her Bandcamp site at eileenivers.bandcamp.com.
“Even if we can’t be there, check out the record,” she said. “It will be a virtual hug.”
With her tour disrupted, that means lost airfare and income, a plight many other musicians are feeling, Ivers said.
“It’s hitting musicians. It’s hitting so many small businesses, the elderly,” she said of the pandemic. “My heart goes out to them. … I’m really thinking of the people more in need.”
Music lovers can support musicians who have lost gigs in closed bars and shuttered auditoriums by buying their albums, Ivers said.
“That is a nice way we can stay connected,” she said. “Hopefully, we can get back and play in person.”