An Irish cellist whose online recital went viral during lockdown expressed concern about the future of social media.
Patrick Dexter says people should think about how much they would lose if negative sentiment spelled the end of a platform like Twitter.
He said: “There’s a lot of negativity out there, but losing this is something really tragic, especially since I think Twitter has a special role in that space. Note that is lost.
“I think it’s a huge loss to see it go down the tube when things could be going on.”
Patrick, who started playing the cello at the age of 7, did not participate in social media until Ireland went into lockdown in March 2020.
His post, taken outside a cottage in County Mayo on the edge of Ireland’s beautiful west coast, went viral.
“I was a school teacher, so I played in elementary school kids’ classrooms and now I play online with millions of people,” he explained.
“It touches my heart”
I asked him what he thought would resonate with his new global audience: music, places, or a combination.
He said: “There is a certain visceral effect that the West of Ireland has on you. You can feel it now in this stormy weather we are experiencing.
“It mixes with the sounds of the cello and instrumental music in general, touches the soul, reaches the heart, and begs to be added.
“Rather than telling you what to think with words, it suggests a certain feeling and brings your thoughts and life stories into it.”
His newfound fame online allowed Patrick to make music his career. He said this was a “dream come true”.
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He shares credits with co-star Naoise, his beautiful rescue dog who has become almost as famous as Patrick himself.
His debut album, aptly titled Solace, was a bestseller in the genre and he even performed for President Joe Biden.
A Canadian fan wrote a simple letter: “To the cellist playing outside Mayo’s Cottage.”
“No matter what happens, even if Twitter’s ship sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic, I will continue to play my cello outside my cottage,” he adds.