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Northern Lights’ first concert a journey from the Romantic era

One of my favorite jokes is about a high school kid who freaks when his physics teacher says that in seven billion years the sun will blow  and wipe out  the earth.

pg21aThe lad raises his hand and in a shaky voice says: “Excuse me, did you say billion or million years?”  “Billion.” “Oh, that’s a relief… I thought you said million.”

Be that as it may, someday all this ends. No life or love, no squids or cute kids, no music.

So, imagining that our consciousness could somehow go on after the end of the world, what would make us sad because of its loss? Music? Any particular composer? In my case Mozart, and I’m not the only one. Chopin, toward the end of his life, told his closest friends: “Play music to remember me and I will hear you from beyond”. Nonplussed, one friend offered: “We will play your cello sonata.” … “Oh, no. Play something good. You know, Mozart.” Further, at Chopin’s request Mozart’s Requiem was performed at his funeral.

All this is to reflect on what we value, simply, what we love. There is indeed a lot for us all, and off we go into this year’s Northern Lights Music Festival. Check out festivaldefebrero.com for information.

The first concert up is the Gryphon Trio on Monday, February 13, 4 p.m. in the Auditorio de la Ribera. Two things immediately attract me to this concert. It’s dedicated to the memory of Dr. Donald Aitken, Stanford nuclear physicist, solar energy champion and Festival del Lago benefactor. (Google his name and the wonderful March 10, 2022 Guadalajara Reporter obituary will appear). This was a man who loved the Earth and loved music. Also, the concert has a title: “Bridges”. It doesn’t matter if we understand what the title refers to, it invites the mind to expand. It may refer to bridges between life and death, especially given the nature of some of the pieces on the program.

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