Gus Bennett/Courtesy of the artist
Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that’s helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
Who: Tarriona “Tank” Ball of Tank and the Bangas
Where: New Orleans, La.
Recommendation: Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “Nessun Dorma”
I’ve been finding that I’ve been needing this time to center myself. The world has been so loud and fast-paced; all of this kinda feels like a mandatory time out. It makes me recognize where I am with my mental health as well my my physical health.
I’ve been cooking, exercising and meditating more. I feel these random urges to shut the door, cut off the lights and sit down in a very uncomfortable position until I find one that suits me. I close my eyes and I go into this extremely beautiful, dark place behind my eyelids. There are a lot of thoughts that come at me like: “Are you taking care of your skin?” “Am I dismissive of people’s feelings?” “Did I get the clothes out of the dryer?” I let them all come to me and then I take control and focus on my breathing and peeking into the darkness behind my eyes. Five minutes feel like forever.
Tank recommends trying something you’ve never done before. She’s thinking about learning to sing “Nessun Dorma,” inspired by Aretha Franklin.
The internet is so funny and artists like me are trying our best to connect and entertain you all at the same time, but I would recommend unplugging and doing something with this time that you don’t normally have time to do. I cleaned out my closet … I found my AirPods! I haven’t seen them in months!
I listened to a glorious version of Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “Nessun Dorma” and it was beautiful. Though I’ve always loved when Luciano Pavarotti did it, something about listening to Aretha do it in the hood just did it for me.
With her singing, I saw a neighbor looking for treasures in others’ trash, someone walking their dog and then I saw nothing. The neighborhood was quiet. I needed her spirit and voice to fill up my house and neighborhood, “within my heart, my secret lies” mane! I started watching almost every rendition of the song but none quite made me feel the way Aretha did. Then I thought, maybe I should learn it! God, that would be hard! Wouldn’t it? It’s in another language, right? Oh, I don’t know.
With that being said, I think you should do something you’ve been trying to do since forever. Something you’ve been constantly putting off. Something indoors! Listen to your heart and your body.
Take CARE of yourself and others.
Tarriona “Tank” Ball recently performed a Tiny Desk (home) concert; watch it below.