Listening to one of my favorite soundtracks, written by one of my favorite “new music” composers about one of my favorite scientists, and feeling a bit mournful.
Johann Johannsson died February 10. I had discovered him earlier than the ToE soundtrack, but when Q2 started playing excerpts from the soundtrack, I realized that there was more to his music than I thought. I quickly scooped up nearly all of his albums. While ToE is probably his “prettiest” album, IBM 1401, A User’s Manual is probably my favorite. We were lucky to get a full lifetime of genius out of Stephen Hawking, but Johann was only 48 when he died.
I have heard that when we lose scientists, it is not as devastating to the science community because often there are others doing the same work, and discoveries are then made by others. (At least, this may be true these days.) However, when we lose an artist, we lose all the art they may have made because no-one else makes precisely that art.
Stephen Hawkings may well be one of those scientists that individually made a difference in the field; at least, I know he did in the lives of millions of children who grew up to be scientists or at least scientifically literate. We were lucky to have him for over 70 years.
But Johann…all the music we will never have.