Reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic in words, improvisation and collected audio compositions by pianist and composer Sila Shaman in collaboration with infectious disease epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman.
Sila Shaman is a composer and pianist whose work spans a variety of genres including music for film & TV, theater, dance, jazz, concert and experimental music. Her recent work has been described as “adroit tinkering and re-shaping of improvised source material into full fledged, highly polished works of art”. Her score for the documentary Sisters in Freedom received 2019 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for both Musical Composition and Audio. As a jazz pianist and composer she has released multiple recordings on SteepleChase and Louie Records of which A New Abode was an album-of-the-week pick by NPR. Her latest duo album with multi-instrumentalist Dave Storrs, Brief West Coast Tour, was listed as one of the top releases of 2020 by All About Jazz. She is currently working on a companion recording to Transmission, an album of compositions based on collected audio during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be released in early 2021. Originally from Turkey she currently lives and works in New York City. www.silashaman.com
Jeffrey Shaman is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He studies the survival, transmission and ecology of infectious agents, including the effects of meteorological and hydrological conditions on these processes. Work-to-date has primarily focused on mosquito-borne and respiratory pathogens. He uses mathematical and statistical models to describe, understand, and forecast the transmission dynamics of these disease systems, and to investigate the broader effects of climate and weather on human health. During 2020, his research efforts have been predominantly directed to the study of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, in particular its epidemiological characteristics, transmission dynamics, and current and future burden on society.