A growing fascination with all things Gould
Ottawa Citizen - Sunday January 10 - Page A10
I've been told to look for a sitka spruce, a tree used to make piano sound boards. This one was planted near the Gould family gravesite by Sony executives from Japan during the 1992 Glenn Gould conference in Toronto. It's the only one in Mount Pleasant Cemetary. I wouldn't know a sitka spruce from a Louisville Slugger, but the headstones offer the promise of music; there's a Bell, a Piper, a Sousa and finally a Gould. I can see hundreds of graves, and the stones upon them range in style from the modest to the fantastic. It seems the most significant contribution many people make to art in life is to commission an ornate monument to themselves in death.
Glenn Gould had no such need of last minute expression. The Gould family marker is an understated rectangle of grey marble, with two panels of carved flowers around an inscription: Here lie Florence E., Russell H. "and their dearly loved son, Glenn H. Gould." A small footstone says "Glenn Gould", and below that, dappled by drops of December rain are the opening bars of the Goldberg Variations. From memory I rather fancifully attempt to follow the notes across the panel of cold, grey stone. ….
Standing in the graveyard, I remember something Gould said in the liner notes to his 1955 Goldberg Variations: "It is, in short, music which observes neither end or beginning, music with neither real climax nor real resolution, music which, like Beaudelaire's lovers, 'rests lightly on the wings of the unchecked wind.'"
Mount Pleasant Cemetery Toronto Ontario, Canada Plot: Section 38, No. 1050