Monday, October 18, 2010

Saying Goodbye...

I wouldn't typically post someone else's work in its entirety, but I think this is certainly a special circumstance...and the content definitely deserves to be shared. 

The original article was posted here: http://www.examiner.com/hip-hop-music-in-minneapolis/the-passing-of-our-dear-friend-eyedea
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The passing of our dear friend Eyedea
October 17th, 2010 11:28 pm CT.
Micheal Larsen

Photo: Rodney Urbanski
I was standing on the second floor balcony of a friends house early this morning when I got a phone call from my brother. He told my that Mike was dead. He was crying. I was shocked. I'm still working to even comprehend that this could have happened. I can't believe that our friend is dead.

Mike was wonderful human being who made deeply beautiful music. His impact on the world continues to widen its gyre, especially at this time when so many friends and fans replay his songs in an accidentally concerted tribute to his life.

Most people knew Micheal as Eyedea. That's the stage name he'd been using since he was a teenager, a time when Micheal gained recognition for his excellence in hip-hop music and proved himself as one of the most talented, and youngest improvisational rappers in the world. Eyedea grew into a Renaissance man, performing lead vocals in a rock group, publishing his own poetry books co-written by his grandmother and playing shows as a member of various hip-hop, improvisational and acoustic bands formed in the Twin Cities. Eyedea sometimes used the moniker Oliver Hart. His mom called him Mikey. He made a lot of good music.

Micheal believed in the power of empathy and felt a deeply visceral sense of duty to contemplate the meaning of humanity, both in its suffering and in its capacity to love. He thought about the truth in awareness and wrote songs that made us aware. He applied mythology to the mystery of existence and talked about science with a spiritual tone. Mike was thoughtful, tough and innovative. He embraced uncertainty and broke the boundaries in every genre. He shattered every label. His music was smart, witty, provocative and sad. His music was beautiful. It was almost always eye opening and rarely was it anything but deep. Mike could make you think, cry, smile and laugh, and he always made you feel.

Mike's heart was big and his mind was complex. He never settled in a comfort of complacence and never abandoned a moral obligation to ponder what life was all about. Mike was dedicated friend, family member and student of the world. He told the world his personal trials, and vulnerabilities, and offered us hope in understanding our own stories as well. Mike told us a lot of jokes when we were down and lent an ear when we needed counsel.

I remember Mike showing up at my wedding, a big smile from ear to ear, wearing a shirt that said "Band T-shirt" written in permanent marker. He gave me and Alissa a warm hug and apologized for having to leave so early. He was in between shows that night. I was happy to see him and his mom, Kathy at the wedding. They were always a joy to interact with, it was never a boring conversation.

Micheal Larsen will be missed by many, many people and our sorrows will pave a difficult path. But, fortunately we have his life to celebrate. We have his stories to cherish and his music to inspire us. Micheal's music, in any form, was so immensely authentic that he left within it, an imprint of his soul. He continues to live as long as we continue to appreciate his work.


Kathy, Mike's mother, posted the following message on his Facebook page (please take a look):

"It is with great pain and sadness that I tell you my son Mikey (Eyedea) has passed away.
At this time we kindly request your respect and our privacy as we process this devastating loss.
We do, however, welcome your kind words, memories, and positive thoughts. We have created a Paypal account and are accepting donations towards the cost of his services. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by accessing this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_sxclick&hosted_button_id=DZ3EEMCVL6BG4

On behalf of Mikey's family, close friends and fans. Thank you.

-Kathy Averill"

Mike, thank you for all of the stories, songs and poems.

We love you,
Kyle Keller
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