Death is a strange thing. You always know it’s coming, but you never know when or from where. You just know it’s out there. Because of this, you always think there is going to be more time. You think of that trip you want to take and say “not now” or that thing you want to do and say “I’ll get to it”…or a memory of a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while goes through your head and you think “I should write them, see how their doing, when I have some time”.
Then you get the message. They’re gone. Without you even knowing about it, they took ill months ago and finally found peace a world away and half a day ago. They’re gone, and there is no tomorrow, no getting to it, and that ‘now’ wil never come.
I met Gert through an oldschool online mailing lists called “The Music Bar” in about 1993 or 1994. Maybe it was earlier or later than that..the mind goes fuzzy. I found the Music Bar through the TechLab mailing lists, one of which was for the Yamaha SY85 Synthesizer, my first professional instrument.
What I found in the Music Bar profoundly affected my development both as a artist and as a person. Here was a group of musicians who were literally from around the world, all engaged in some form of electronic music. Many of them were older and had been producing music already for decades. Some were as new as I was to this world. Some newer.
One of those was Gert Van Santen (or as we called him, the Galactic Space Emperor).
Gert (pronounced ‘Hert’, I was told) was a gentle giant of a man, who’s simple purpose was to bring delight into the world. And he was uniquely gifted at this purpose, his very presence radiating a positivity and, yes, delight that was simply infectius. My only regret is that I only got to meet him in person once.
And now he’s gone, and the chance to bathe in that delightful presence gone with it.
I have no words to express this loss.
Don’t wait. Get to it now. Go on that trip. Write that letter. You don’t know when ‘too late’ will come.