Metal Inside(r) Home Quarantine is Metal Insider’s new column during this time of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked artists five questions on what’s been keeping them busy ranging from their favorite movies, food they’ve been eating, music they’ve been listening to and more. We caught up with composer Manuel Barbara as he’s been spending this time writing.
What have you been doing to pass time during Quarantine?
All sorts of things. Musically, I’ve been trying to keep up with writing, practicing, and teaching myself how to mix. I’ve also been working on a lot of full-band cover videos with the old crew from Berklee. On a more personal level, I’ve been trying to help out around the house and keep in shape. I spent a few months in the fall applying to grad schools and I’m waiting to hear back from them now.
Have you been listening to any music or have any playlists worth checking out?
I’ve been really enjoying the new Architects stuff and I recently got super into The Dear Hunter. Going through a power metal phase now too, so Kamelot and Blind Guardian are getting a lot of attention. If you’re into post-classical music, I’d recommend checking out Toru Takemitsu. One of my professors introduced me to his music a year ago and I’ve been getting really into it.
A lot of people have been spending this time cooking including making their own bread, what food have you been prepping during this time?
I’ve always liked cooking although I haven’t been doing as much of it lately since there’s a lot of people in the house who all cook. The most interesting meals I’ve made recently are chicken in a lemon butter sauce and some reina pepiada arepas in honor of my Venezuelan heritage. I also brew beer and mead and I’ve made a few pretty interesting ones.
In terms of entertainment, what movies, TV shows, books, or games have been keeping you busy?
I read a lot, currently going through a series by my favorite sci-fi author, Alastair Reynolds, and also de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. I’ve also been working my way through The Expanse novels and comparing them to the show with my dad, which has been fun. I’m also re-playing Hollow Knight which I consider to be one of the best, if not the best game ever made.
What advice do you have for your fans in isolation during this time?
I think I might need as much advice as they do, but I think it’s important to keep busy and keep to a schedule. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself, though. It can be hard to deal with your own feelings when there are so many people struggling so much more than you are but that doesn’t mean you should just be ok with the way things are. I hate this “new normal” term that everyone seems to be throwing around. This isn’t normal and it shouldn’t be normal, but it is temporary.