The Sombrero Galaxy wikipedia025xA short while ago, relatively speaking, I dreamed I was a scientist having a sleepless night: tossing and turning while endlessly trying to calculate exactly how fast I would have to drive towards a red traffic light in order for the Doppler effect to make it appear green. 

For solace in his sleepless state, the scientist I was dreaming I was got out of bed and went to his telescope to observe the night sky with all its twinklingly verifiable pinpricks of fact. Instead he observed, in an indescribable rush of mingled horror and delight that the Sombrero Galaxy (M104) was no longer receding from our solar system at its usual rate of approximately 1020 km/sec but instead appeared to be standing still.

After what seemed like an eternity (and probably was), it became clear to the scientist I was dreaming I was, that in defiance of all the known laws of physics and mechanics, Galaxy M104 (aka Sombrero) was making like a “bad hombre” and blue-shifting back towards us at a considerable rate of knots.

After another eternity, and at precisely the right moment, not too far but not too close, Sombrero stopped blue-streaking and tipped its hat towards us in the sky, revealing the black hole, right at the crown of its hat, that was its source of motive power. And from that source of power Sombrero spoke:

“Good evening,” Sombrero said. The scientist I was dreaming I was politely said “Good evening” in reply. But frankly, I wasn’t so sure about that.

“I have come to tell you,” Sombrero said, “that it’s come to the point where, to use the current lingo, your galaxy either needs to ship up or to shape out.”

I ask what’s that supposed to mean. “Well either there is something in your galaxy that is uniquely of value to the universe, or there isn’t. And the good news is that, based on our investigations so far, you do have that something. But the bad news is that it is starting to look as though we might just be able to extract that something without having to haul all your viral baggage along with it. In which case, as the saying goes, it’s lights out for you.” 

“What is that something?” our scientist asked, on behalf of all known living things, and held his breath.

“It’s called Bach,” Sombrero said.

 And right at that moment (or as it is sometimes translated, just in time) all the birds started to sing and we awoke.

And it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day.

The Thing about Bucket Lists

The thing I am realizing about bucket lists is that if you forget to take the list out of the bucket before the winter sets in, it gets frozen in the bucket, and you have to wait for the spring to start crossing things off it (assuming it hasn’t become so soggy that it’s completely unreadable).

My musical bucket list has on it taking in another complete Beethoven string quartet cycle, as I explain in the story Total Immersion a little further into this issue.

It also has on it a visit to the Aga Khan Museum in North York, maybe timed to coincide with World Fiddle Day. See On Our Cover for what that’s about.

The list also has on it in big letters the word SING! (although I can’t remember if that’s about taking in the Sing! A Vocal Arts Festival or about actually using this year’s Canary Pages to find a choir that will have me.)

It also has on it arranging a one-off performance night for myself, titled David Perlman and Friends at which I sell my as-yet-unrecorded CD to both of my friends. (But that one may take a while.)

And Some Housekeeping

Performers and presenters take note: after this May issue, we suspend our monthly cycle for the summer. The next issue covers June, July and August. For presenters with summer listings, that means getting your summer listings in to us as fast as possible, if you want to see them in print. (And making sure you send them anyway if you miss the print deadline because we are committed to updating them online right through the summer.)

For performers and presenters not active during the summer make sure you get your 2017/18 listings in before you go incommunicado while you are crossing a year’s worth of things off your bucket list! 

We’re planning exciting things in terms of expanded listings coverage online for the coming season. And we’ll be working with the listings we have before we go chasing the ones we don’t.

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