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Friday, March 21, 2008


On Good Friday morning I've taken to playing the double CD of Jesus Christ Superstar by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber: the original London concept version from 1969 featuring Ian Gillan before he became famous as Deep Purple's singer. It's a ritual that strangely connects me to my childhood in Malta during Easter time, particularly Good Friday, for a number of reasons, some of which I've already mentioned in a previous blog entry. My fraternal friend Immanuel Mifsud plays Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in a similar ritual on the first day of spring. Oddly enough, this year they both fall on the same day.

On this quiet day I can't fail to think about some of the deaths we heard about in recent days. First on the list is artist Ebba von Fersen Balzan who passed away at Mater Dei Hospital last Sunday. I only met Ebba a couple of times. Once at the home she shared with her husband Saviour in Naxxar at the the of the 1980s and then one other time at an art event in the early 1990s. It's always sad to hear of people who die young. Ebba was 50 and that's far too young to die. The same goes for film-maker Anthony Minghella, a former drama student and lecturer at the University of Hull, who lost his life unexpectedly mid-week at the age of 54. I'm sure they both still had a lot to offer in making other people's lives more enjoyable.

Death is saddening whenever it comes. It's an irrevocable end like no other. It's one of the subjects that makes frequent appearances on my blog. I'm moved by death even when it befalls older individuals. Two such moments happened on Wednesday this week with visionary writer Arthur C. Clarke at 90 years old and actor Paul Scofield at 86. Both played a significant part in my creative imagination as a teenager. Scofield with his iconic film acting and Clarke with his TV series Mysterious World more than his futurist views on 2001.

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