Sometimes you are not sure if someone wishes to be publicly remembered after they are gone by everyone who can type. I don’t know what I would want. What do the people left behind want? I guess it’s different for everyone. So in a way, it’s a presumption to acknowledge someone’s passing. Perhaps they wish to just slip away. Maybe loved ones don’t want people who were more peripheral talking about their beloved. I do wonder these things. So first I say I’m sorry if I’m being selfish and I hope it’s ok.
That’s my argument with myself as I decided to speak of Kevin Becka’s passing, which happened today as we go to press. May 19, 2019. In these past six months, he faced the swift, terminal ordeal of a surprise cancer diagnosis.
We’re a small industry—I mean both publishing and Pro AV/ Audio. We try particularly hard at our work for some reason. What drew me in were the adventures in sound/picture that don’t happen any other way. I feel that from others all around me, and Kevin even more than most.
So our little community runs on inspiration. We watch each other try, push ourselves, overcome obstacles, delight in technology, delight in teaching, solving, listening, hearing, seeing…routing. For all its technology, the palette we manipulate is primal. The expression that’s possible through the capture and amplification of sound and imagery is core to human shared experience. Kevin made that so real. It was reassuring that he saw, lived, and taught it so unequivocally and with such seemingly effortless expertise.
In his professional capacity, Kevin was a musician, an engineer, and my fierce colleague as a writer for Mix for over 15 years. Most of all, above all, he was a teacher. He oozed it. That passion culminated when he helped found Blackbird Academy in Nashville—we should all have one labor of pure creativity; for him, it was only his last and most favorite. I remember as it came into being, that it seemed almost like he scarcely dared to believe it would. To have that much on the line in middle age is a fine thing. To leave it behind means he expects the teaching to continue without him. Ok.
I’m going to wager that literally thousands of people got to express themselves in music and playback and the joy of it because of Kevin being there for stuff and showing up all ready to talk and write and make it alive. He took it for granted that passion mattered. That’s what I want to put in writing so I remember the concentric circles that form around that.
I’m sorry he didn’t get more time because he was so good at using it. I’m sorry he had to go when so many people didn’t want him to. Especially his family. It sucks.
Kevin’s expressed wish is to remember him through a donation to Agape Animal Rescue (Nashville, TN), in his name, in honor of the many rescue dogs who shared his life.