Los Angeles music producer and composer Tom Bajoras is creating the kind of music that he needs to hear right now. With COVID-19 preventing him from recording other musicians in the studio, Tom found himself composing personal, inspirational arrangements of traditional hymns.
As an individual living with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, Tom is taking every precaution to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, such as keeping away from crowds and public places. Tom only leaves his home for regular long walks around the neighborhood. To stay as safe as possible, he postponed a March PET/CT scan to monitor his response to PRRT last fall. He’s also canceled all his public performances. These sudden changes have been difficult.
“Some days, I didn’t even feel like getting out of bed,” said Tom. “I obsessed over the news and how many people had died each day.”
Tom even experienced episodes of anxiety in which his heart raced, and he had difficulty breathing. After his nervousness caused physical symptoms that could be misconstrued as COVID-19, Tom decided to slow down, shut off the news, and focus on self-care and self-expression. He started to write quiet, meditative piano music.
An album on his COVID-19 phase
“I’ve always liked old hymns, ever since I was a kid,” said Tom. “To work with a song that is about 1,300 years old makes you feel connected to everyone who has sung it before.”
Through the centuries, people have turned to hymns, whether alone or in a community of faith, to connect to higher powers, find strength, and rally inspiration. Tom hopes this new body “By Day or By Night” allows listeners to discover joy and relaxation. The album is now available on all the major streaming services.
Listen to his musical journey through NETs
This isn’t the first time Tom expressed himself through music for health and healing. In 2018, he released an album called Surprised by Beauty that captured his journey with neuroendocrine cancer.
“I’d been writing music throughout my journey with NET,” said Tom “The idea of being ‘surprised by beauty’ became essential to getting through my struggles with pain and fatigue.”
In active treatment, Tom’s senses awakened to help him find renewed joy in simple, everyday experiences. “Out walking one day, I saw a flower. It was a common flower. I’d probably seen a thousand times before, but this time it really did look amazing. At that moment, I realized that even on the worst of days, I could find at least one beautiful thing to be thankful for.”
Making the most of a tough situation
“Someday, we are going to look back on this and say, remember 2020?” said Tom. “And despite all the bad, people will feel like some good came of it. While we are all slowed down and at home with our families, the question we need to answer is, what good can we each make of this time?”