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Creating in quarantine, composer puts hand washing to music

It started as a way to keep creating when opportunities to play and teach music dried up. Now, it's a unique collaboration between artists, and they hope you enjoy.

DALLAS — What does a musician do when there are no gigs? We asked Garrett Wingfield to tell us in his Dallas front yard. 

"My background is in playing saxophone and also composing," he said. "It's a very expressive instrument."

Teaching and playing music was his source of income, pre-pandemic. Now, all he has is time.

"I really just needed something just to be regular and get myself back on my feet, and get myself back creating," he said.

Wingfield found inspiration in the sink, and all the washing of his hands he'd been doing. He challenged his fellow musicians to send videos.

"The one requirement is you have to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds," he said. 

The clips could be as creative as the musicians wanted. From there, Wingfield would compose a piece of music to go under it, while collaborating with the person in the video.

"I send them their part, like the sheet music," he said. "I record my part, mix them together, put them out!"

He calls them the "Handwashing Etudes." 

"I'd call it experimental music," he said. 

He’s up to nine pieces now, each one very different and far from what you might expect. 

Wingfield has them all linked on his website

While part of it is to keep his creativity flowing, Wingfield also hopes people remember those musicians who are struggling as concerts and other gigs stay shuttered during this pandemic. 

"It’s about still finding ways to kind of curate each other’s art," he said. 

It's his way of reminding all of us that creativity doesn't stop.

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