Happy to be home

A piano in a garden made an interesting COVID twist for photographer Sandy Scheltema when she went to the Tylden South home of David and Susan Jaffe and their son Patrick to photograph them for her pandemic project.
Sandy has been photographing local families in their driveways as part of her ‘Life in The Time of Corona Virus’ documentary series and caught up with the Jaffes earlier this month.
Pat, 22, was on exchange in Sweden when coronavirus first hit but got home just in time before international flights stopped.
“It’s been nice being with mum and dad,” he said.
“I was planning for another six months of exchange as part of my economics degree. It was a tough decision to come home – there was a bit of fear that my life plans would be disrupted.
“I’m also a musician and while I was away in Europe, I booked a studio in Iceland to record an album of my composition – Eldorado. My plans for releasing the music were disrupted by COVID-19. I’ve had to find alternative ways of sharing music.”
Pat said home had been a special place to be during the lockdowns.
“I’d been cooking for myself in Europe but it’s nowhere up to the standard of mum and dad’s cooking!” he said.
“During the first lockdown I had a project where every day I wrote a piece of music.
“Every day I felt like I had achieved something. I’ve also been teaching double bass by Zoom.”
Pat’s album Eldorado was released this month and – hot off the press – he just won the 2020 Allan Zavod Performers’ Prize, given by the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University for “an outstanding performance of an original composition that fuses classical and improvisatory performance and compositional elements”. The prize was awarded for his composition title Hannah.
Mum Susan said she planted daffodils in the first lockdown and was now getting joy from watching them flowering.
“The time I put in the first lockdown is paying dividends in the second lockdown, bringing me much joy,” she said.
“I’ve enjoyed being roadie, scout and explorer of waterfalls for Pat’s music video locations.”
Dad David said that as a consultant he’d been working out what COVID-19 meant to business, what changes were permanent, what were temporary and how to adapt business to the new world.
“I’ve really enjoyed trying to connect with people I’ve lost touch with because I’ve got more time now,” he said.
Sandy Scheltema’s ‘Life in The Time of Corona Virus’ documentary series is funded by Creative Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria as part of the Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative.

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