For Mo

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by: Daniel Berkman
uploaded: 02/10/2013
 "For Mo" was written for my Grand Uncle, Moses Berkman.
I never knew him. But I knew my Aunt Florence who remained widowed
till her death in 2001.
Moses died in 1956.

When I was studying music at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, 
Connecticut in the early nineties, I used to visit Flo's house and she used to 
tell me many stories, mostly of her life as an art critic for the New York Times 
and The Hartford Current.

She often spoke of Mo. Always with love, always with reverence.

One day I noticed an old faded cello case behind a table.
My eyes perked and I asked Flo about it.
It belonged to Mo.
I asked about it and then asked if I could have it.
I think, by this point, Flo was a bit perturbed by my tendency to collect family 
memorabilia and artifacts and I guess she was putting up a sort of boundary.
But I was insistent that if I took the cello I would treat it with utmost care and 
play it with relish!

Over twenty years later, I finally decided to write a composition with it. Today, 
in fact. I'm not a good cello player, by any means, but I enjoy making a sound 
with it. And it always reminds me of Mo when I play it, the Mo I never knew, 
the Mo who grew up with my Grandpa Sam, the journalist, the adored 
husband, the scholar, a man who I've only ever seen in one picture, in black 
and white, smoke billowing from his pipe, caught forever in that one 
photograph, but who's legacy now lives on in an old Kay cello.

-Daniel Berkman
Tagses: cello, (we can link these up later)

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For Mo
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