Unnecessary Cloning

There is a story by Theodore Sturgeon about a rich and intelligent woman who falls in love with her gardner, a poor, dumb, yet innocent and pure man. They both get married and live a childless and happy life. But all of a sudden the gardner gets a life threatening illness. The woman, in a panic, decides to hire a team of scientists to help her. She makes the scientists create an exact clone of herself and the gardner, impregnating a volunteer with the exact specifications of the gardner and then herself with the exact specifications of her own self. The clones are born and with help they’re raised properly with the woman checking in from time to time; like an Adam and Eve.

This is where it gets weird. Before she dies, the woman leaves it in her will that the cloning process must happen to these clones: clones are made of the first clones using the same process. This is supposed to go on until the woman’s estate cannot afford to do it anymore. The scientists are baffled but proceed anyway. One scientist makes a remark: What if the clones don’t love each other like the original couple? What if these clones don’t get married and just stay friends or even break away from each other? Will the point of the cloning still be valid?

Classical music is passed down again and again and again. For some two hundred years of Mozart and music has been cloned in performances and recordings will continue to cloned until the end of time, ad infinitum. The first performances and recordings were labors of love, like the woman and the gardner’s relationship. Mozart is a wonderful composer, full of subtlety and nuance and humanity. His music must live on.

That is the will that is left behind.

So, like the scientists, we follow the will and continually clone this music. We’re so busy cloning that we haven’t asked the question that the one scientist did: What if we continue to perform Mozart but to deaf ears and short attention spans? What if nobody cares? Will the point of the music making still be valid?

Why do we connect to classical music anyway? That’s a start.


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