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BWW Feature: At Home With Edmund Bagnell

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BWW Feature: At Home With Edmund Bagnell

This year Edmund Bagnell stepped out on his own. One-fourth of the famed string quartet Well-Strung, Bagnell debuted his solo show, and while enjoying the experience, he was still planning on spending lots of time with his three colleagues in music-making. Now he spends his time in the country, isolating with his main squeeze and figuring out what to do until he and his shows, both group and solo, are allowed back in clubs. It's been a time of reflection and creation, as evidenced by a music video of a Sondheim song that garnered much praise from the online community.


I caught up with Edmund to see what day-to-day life is like when one has a chance, daily, to grab their guy and go into the woods.

This interview was conducted digitally and has had only minor editing for punctuation and spelling.

Name: Edmund Bagnell

First Cabaret Show (Title, Year, Club): He Plays The Violin, 2019, The Art House

Most Recent Cabaret Show: He Plays The Violin Puerto Vallarta, March 2020

Website or Social Media Handles: Instagram: edmund_bagnell YouTube: Edmund Bagnell LINK HERE

Edmund Bagnell! Thanks for visiting with me and Broadway World today. As we round into our third month of sheltering in place, how's life looking for you?

My pleasure! Life is good. Like I think we all do, I find myself reflecting on this unusual time a lot. Taking out the ugliness of the virus itself, I think I will look back on these months with a certain fondness. It's been a chance to be quiet, thoughtful, and productive without the normal pressures of everyday life. And although I certainly miss performing live - in March I had to end my run of shows in Puerto Vallarta early to head back home to quarantine - I've had fun staying creatively active working on recording projects.

You've been quarantining outside of the city - has it been a more acceptable experience with nature available to you and your loved ones?

I feel really lucky that I now live in a pretty rural area, because when I'm at home, there's nothing but woods around me, so in a way, nothing felt all that different at first. Of course, when you go to the grocery store, everyone has been very very good about wearing masks and making the process as contactless as possible. But that aside, it's been nice to be able to take long walks in the woods. I know it's cliche, but the woods are very calming.

Speaking of nature, where exactly did you shoot your No One Is Alone video? What was that creative process like and what kind of feedback have you had from your public?

We filmed that video in what is basically our backyard. I had thought I'd just film it on a log or something, but then my boyfriend, Colin, suggested we film it by the stream just a little further down the hill, and I'm so glad he thought of that. I think the rushing water really reflects the mood of the song. In terms of creating that track/video, it happened at a point in quarantine where I was really itching to do something creatively, and Stephen Sondheim's gorgeous melody and lyrics seemed perfect for my mood - feeling isolated in quarantine. Recording wasn't glamorous, I set up a makeshift recording studio in the closet, but the hanging clothes worked really well as baffling. But it was a lot of fun to arrange the song and record all the parts. The reaction to the video was lovely - people were very sweet and generous in their response, and it's definitely inspired me to record more this summer. I will be posting more videos on my YouTube and Instagram pages in the coming weeks.

This last season you branched out as an artist and dipped your toes into the waters of the solo act. Was it scary? Did you enjoy it?

It was very scary!! Haha, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. But it was so very enjoyable. I love the Well-Strung boys. Truly, we are like brothers, so my stepping out with my own show wasn't a rejection of Well-Strung or anything like that. It was more a chance to be able to express myself differently. I can explore different types of music and push myself in different ways than when you're part of a larger band.

When the world and the venues reopen, will you be moving forward with more solo shows?

Yes! There are more solo shows on the horizon. No surprise, of course, but all my spring and summer dates are being rescheduled for later in the year/2021. I'd been scheduled to do my show all summer long in Provincetown, MA, and I'm of course bummed to say that those had to be canceled - a summer performing in Ptown is one of my favorite things in life, but it's been rescheduled to next year. I have dates in Vegas and San Diego coming up that I'm looking forward to, and I'll post more dates once theaters start opening back up again.

Have you and the Well-Strung gentlemen been doing ZOOM meetings to stay in touch?

We're big on group text messaging. It's funny that I haven't seen them in several months. Well-Strung also had several gigs this spring that got postponed. Since we formed 8 years ago, we've never gone this long without seeing each other!

If you had to describe each of your Well-Strung brothers filling in this blank, what words would you use: "The ______ One"

Oh boy, let me see, haha.

Chris, the motivated one.

Trevor, the thoughtful one.

Daniel, the expressive one.

BWW Feature: At Home With Edmund Bagnell

Other than the music video, are you being creative under quarantine, or are you and Colin just cooking and being domestic?

My plan is to have a whole album recorded by the end of the summer, so now that I've said that in print, I'll hold myself to it. We've also been doing a ton of house and yard work, which is a different kind of creative muscle - literally. Last week I was hauling stones I found by the stream in back to create a patio.

Has there been any personal benefit for you, being under quarantine? More sleep, time with Colin, projects accomplished?

We've been eating really well. Colin is a great cook, and I love to eat, so it's been awesome having some amazing home-cooked meals. We also caught up on a lot of television and knocked out several house projects such as redoing a bathroom, etc, etc.

Edmund, we are in the middle of Gay Pride month and all Pride events are canceled. What do you think people can do online and in their lives to observe Pride, to absorb the significance of the occasion?

Social media is such a powerful tool these days. It's been amazing seeing the response to Black Lives Matter online, and how these platforms have magnified its message. I think similarly, we can find our community and pride online even if we can't be together in large gatherings like we could be in previous years.

Edmund, thanks for chatting with me today, I really appreciate it.

Thanks so much for talking with me! I'm going to take some pictures for you ASAP. I'm trying very hard to get a haircut today (it's been four months) and I will get you some photos right over. FYI, I should be posting a new video towards the end of this coming week!


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