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2015年2月19日 星期四

A Sound not of this World (不屬這世界的聲音)

The year of the horse in Hong Kong just passed. It was a year full of noise, a year of quarrel, a year of strife. A new year has just begun. I want to welcome it not with firecrackers. They're banned any way, even if I had wanted to rely them to start off the new year. I want to welcome it with some music. It's music of an artist whose sound struck me as out of this world when I first heard it many many years ago in a small alternative CD shop right in the heart of Central close to the then Central Market in a stroll I used to do every weekday after my simple lunch. The music is that of an artist who has had a most unusual career. It's the music of Ray Lynch.

Raymond ("Ray" ) Lynch's mother is water color artist and a classical pianist who encouraged him to learn the piano at age 6 but at 12, he became fascinated by the sound of that legendary magician of the Spanish guitar, Andrés Segovia and there and then decided that he wanted to learn that simple and intimate instrument from the Spanish masters. His dream was realized when he took lessons from  Eduardo Sainz de la Maza in Spain after his first year at the University of Texas. He followed him for 3 years and then returned to UT to study music composition. While at college, Ray Lynch joined the The Renaissance Quartet  in New York to play the kind of music which was then beginning to emerge from the simple polyphonic music of the Middle Ages. There he served several years as its  classical guitar and lutenist. Then he started composing music which mixes in electronic keyboard sound into classical melodies.

He met with success with his debut album The Sky of Mind (1983) with what was to become his trademark sound: a tranquil almost ethereal sound suggesting immense space and spirituality. His second album was Deep Breakfast (1984) which sold 1.4 million copy and was the first independently released album to be certified "platinum" by the R.I.A.A. His third album No Blue Thing (1989) won two Billboard Awards, and in 1993, Lynch followed up with his fourth album, the classical Nothing Above My Shoulders but the Evening featuring members of the San Francisco Symphony playing the flute, oboe, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, violin, viola, cello and piano.  I got all his works which I really like to share with folks because, despite the years, every time I hear them, it still sounded to me as if I was hearing them for the first time.



It's my new year wish that a little of that joy and delight in life and that mysterious sense of serenity in Ray Lynch's soothing music will rub off the heat scorching and searing the political soul of Hong Kong in the coming year.

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