Arne Sahlen, photo by John Allen. Edyta Sahlen at her 1984 graduation.

Arne Sahlen honours his mother with A Century of Music and Life

Pianist Arne Sahlen will present ‘100 Years of Musical Marvels’ at Kimberley United Church this Saturday, May 11 at 7 pm and Sunday May 12 at 3 pm – by donation to support his book project, Edyta Sahlen – a Life Well Lived.

Classical, Ragtime, Jazz, Country, the Beatles, Elvis, movie hits, videogame music and more made up a surging century of musical change. “Do you think Classical music is squabble-free?” asks Sahlen. “Guess again! A huge riot erupted in 1913 after Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring ballet opened in Paris. Of course, scandals settle in time. I saw the first Beatles broadcast on the Ed Sullivan show. They were often denounced back then, but famous symphonies now play their music.”

Often-intense Country gave emotional release in the tough, uncompromising Old West. “When I moved here,” Sahlen remembers, “Country was my least-liked music. But hey, I wanted people to like my Classical-type stuff! So for months I turned on Country radio, half an hour a day. Now I appreciate the music and many of its artists.”

Speaking of the Beatles, videogames offer much musical fascination – with Sir Paul McCartney a frequent contributor. Local pianist Nicklaus Skibsted played several selections in a recent East Kootenay Festival, to the adjudicator’s wide-eyed delight. “I had no idea games would have such music!” she exclaimed, asking how to track it down.

Born seven months before World War 1 ended, Edyta Sahlen lived for education, adventure, embracing love, the arts, and human service. “I feel honoured to share her story with the public,” says her son. His memoir will tie in the immigrant experience, her World War 2 service and exciting ventures after it, University studies after my dad died, art and music, lifelong volunteering, and more – also her dauntless, fearless dignity as life drew toward its end after her 100th birthday last April 3. “Total pleasure for care!” said the chart at her final Seniors’ home in Victoria.

Concert donations will support Sahlen’s travel to family friends of up to 65 years, to Edyta’s 96-year-old sister Lida in Arizona, and to a California archive with sixteen linear feet of items about their UN-linked brother Rudy – plus book production and publishing. The due date is April 3, 2020.

For details contact arnesahlen@hotmail.com, 250-427-2159, or cell-text 250-540-4242.

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