Finding Meaning in Music: A Short Documentary on How a Young Tech Pioneer, Confronting His Mortality, Prepared for His Final Violin Performance

The doc­tor breaks the news. You have ter­mi­nal can­cer, and you might have only a few months to live. How would you spend those final days? That’s a ques­tion that Eric Sun had to con­front when doc­tors told him he had a glioblas­toma, an aggres­sive form of brain can­cer, in 2016. Only 32 years old, Sun had stud­ied com­put­er sci­ence and eco­nom­ics at Stan­ford, then went to work at Face­book in 2008. Every­thing was on track. Until it was­n’t. Then big deci­sions had to be made.

Last month, the New York­er pub­lished a poignant pro­file on Sun, doc­u­ment­ing how, fac­ing mor­tal­i­ty, he found refuge–and maybe some kind of deep­er meaning–in music. The relat­ed video above, “Find­ing Mean­ing in Music,” lets you see Sun return­ing to his life­long passion–playing violin–and get­ting ready for his final per­for­mance. In the end, it’s art that nour­ish­es the soul.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Death: A Free Phi­los­o­phy Course from Yale Helps You Grap­ple with the Inescapable

Why Vio­lins Have F‑Holes: The Sci­ence & His­to­ry of a Remark­able Renais­sance Design

Holo­caust Sur­vivor Vik­tor Fran­kl Explains Why If We Have True Mean­ing in Our Lives, We Can Make It Through the Dark­est of Times

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.