#WFH Diaries: Andrew Sherman of Butter Music + Sound

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Butter Music + Sound creative director and composer Andrew Sherman, who was hospitalized with Covid-19 in March and is now recuperating at home.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I'm the chief creative officer and owner of Butter Music + Sound, a professional composer, and keyboardist.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I am sequestered at home in Brooklyn with my wife and two children.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Not bad. We are all able to work remotely and respond to incoming work, which has slowed down a bit but not halted. It's not business as usual, but we are operating from home as well as possible.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Zoom, iChat, sometimes Google Hangouts.

How are you dealing with childcare?

My wife is a full-time stay-at-home parent to our children, so I'm lucky that I haven't had to adapt in that respect. She, however, has had to adapt to me being home all the time.

What are you reading?

I am reading a book called Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in Mumbai University, by Katherine Boo. It's non-fiction that reads like fiction. I also joined a Facebook Group called "Survivor Core" that has currently 34,000 members, all people recovering from the virus. As someone who had the virus early—in the beginning of March—I'm getting a lot of questions about my experience. From symptoms to when to go to the hospital, I've been engaging a lot with this new and growing online community.

What are you watching?

We've watched all of Ozark and Tiger King. I also watched all of Broadchurch when I was in bed with the virus. Olivia Colman is such an incredible actress. We watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events with our kids and pretty soon we will be watching Bless the Harts, which starts again in September.

What are you listening to?

Right now, I'm listening to Britney Spears for a job. Overall, I listen to a lot of jazz, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, etc. 

How are you staying fit?

The coronavirus was my weight loss program. I'm down 15 pounds. But beyond basic calisthenics in the morning, I'm not really doing enough in the fitness department.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I'm cooking more. I think everyone is, probably. Other than that, not really. It's nice to have time to learn to use all the music gear I've collected over the years. Never has there been a better time to discover all the capabilities of the Dave Smith Prophet Rev2.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Lowe's is open and they are fully stocked with paper towels and toilet paper.

An awkward moment since all this started.

When I gave my housekeeper the coronavirus before I knew I had it.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Our office chef and his wife had a baby three days ago. Getting that news was a definite upbeat moment.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Getting the virus early on was a huge wakeup call to how serious things can get before they get better. It's also made me realize how important personal connection and the action of the city is to our lives—both work and personal. Social distancing doesn't feel natural, but on some level I think there are going to be permanent changes, which is unfortunate but necessary. 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I think enough people are going to have the virus that they will take their immunity back to work and we will gently resume the economy over time. I think that right now there are a bunch of people that are already over it and immune and looking for things to do and ways to help. 

Eventually, we will return to some sort of new normal that will involve greater attention to social distancing, but things like concerts are going to take some time. Large-scale events like the New Orleans Jazz Fest are irreplaceable, but I don't think we'll see a return to something like that until we have a vaccine.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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