[Hudson Bay member Lloyd Landa died of an apparent heart attack in Toronto on August 2, 2000, aged 57. The following tribute was written by Karen Linsley to be handed out at the Mars Society banquet, held on August 12, 2000 in Toronto. Karen and Lloyd's song, "Pioneers of Mars," had just won first prize in the Mars Society song contest for an anthem for the Red Planet. Their photo, above (taken by Karen Bennett), appeared on their 1999 CD, The Road to Roswell.]
by Karen Linsley
Lloyd Landa was a musical dreamer. From the age of 3, Lloyd was playing piano, by ear; his perfect pitch was infallible. He began performing at this tender age in his home town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As Lloyd grew, he began hearing music in his head, music no one else had ever heard before. Gradually, this grew into a gift for songwriting and composition. When I first met Lloyd, over 16 years ago, I was looking for an accompanist to my vocals. But as we talked and played (for over 10 hours that first day) I discovered in him much more than an accompanist. I discovered a co-writer and soulmate. His writing blew me away, and his sense of humour got me in touch with a side of myself I didn?t know was there. When we wrote together, we were like one mind.
As a songwriting duo, we composed the hit country tune "Somebody Else's Heart." We also won the Pegasus Award for best filk song for "The Road To Roswell." That song ultimately led to a CD of several of our songs, including a Lloyd Landa original, "Rider of the Night." The CD also was nominated for an Aurora Award for Canadian science fiction and fantasy.
That seems like a pretty good resumé, yet there was much more to Lloyd's music than that. Lloyd was an excellent semi-classical composer, and had been planning an album of his own exquisitely haunting compositions. His music has that quality that reaches right into the heart of the listener and takes you on a journey of mind, soul, and place.
And speaking of place, when Lloyd discovered the Mars Society's songwriting competition, that amazing child-like quality he never lost came bouncing to life. The notion of maybe having music he wrote played on the soil of Mars was too much to resist. And his enthusiasm was too much for me to resist. Writing the song with him was, as usual, a wonderful experience.
Lloyd was looking forward to this evening with the same enthusiasm. But it was not meant to be. Lloyd passed away of an apparent heart attack, only a week and a half before this conference. Yet his dreams live on, in his music, and the memories of his friendship and love. And wherever he is now, I'm sure the music still runs through his mind, those musical dreams that made him the most special person I have ever known.
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