Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Serving music ministry with Mr. Ben Ng!

Needless to say, it's a dream come true!

Ben Ng (吳秉堅)'s songs had a deep impact on me a teenager growing in a church in HK. At the time (mid to late 80's), when nobody was ready for a change in Christian music, he first broke the tradition and introduced something new to the church, i.e. songs that fit the Cantonese lyrics and had a modern touch.

The "modern" touch was not only skin deep or paying lip service. Although it bore similarity to the 80's Cantopop songs we heard on the radio or saw on TV, its lyrics were timely and described precisely what was happening in the society at that time. There were great lyricists working side-by-side with Ben's soothing songs: Vivien Yung, Peggy Leung, Dr. Chiu Mong Chun, Edwin Tanner, just to name a few, not to mention the lyricist-turned-football-commentator Mr. Calvin Poon (潘源良).

Somehow the entire "Let's Sing" movement was like a revolution. It kept the traditional hymn-like nature of typical praise and worship songs, but added a societal element to it. The youth could relate to it. Even Ms. Winnie Yu of Commercial Radio said, "Christian music for the first time was speaking directly to the outside world."

In short, Ben Ng's effect on me was not any less than Joseph Koo's. I consider them equally gifted in the art of musical composition. Of course, Mr. Koo's achievements were a lot more visible and public as his songs were played on TVB all day long. Koo enjoyed commercial success as well as critical praise. Mr. Ng, on the other hand, was more subtle and in turn, fewer people recognized his achievements. However, in my view, Ben wrote (and continues to write) beautiful melodies. His melody lines are often catchy and easy to digest, yet totally unconventional.

For a person who did not receive proper musical training (what is proper musical training anyways?), Mr. Ng's talents were considered top-notched! He always challenged himself to land on new grounds, was frequently imaginative, and tried not to be repetitive (think Sam Hui and George Lam). Even when he was repeating similar ideas, he executed them differently as seen in "A Life Worth Living" vs. "God! You're in Charge!"

For me and Roger to be producing and re-inventing two of Ben's original tunes were beyond a pleasant surprise. It was a monumental honor for us, and an experience never to forget. Ben's always humble to say he's a servant of God and should not deserve any recognition.

My wish is to let more people learn about Ben Ng - to learn that in HK, there was such a giant figure in musical composition and giving so much to make "Christian music" a definitive and real genre. The one quintessential person who worked so hard to bring this music, in his own words, to the Promised Land of Canaan.

I was talking to C. Pak, another prominent figure in Christian music, the other day about the song, "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow." C. Pak said he expects to hear that song in heaven being sung by angels and large choirs. I agreed.

I also expect to the hear the masterpieces of Ben Ng in heaven.

Miles Davis once a song called "Seven Steps to Heaven."

Ben Ng's songs and his wonderful living testimony make you realize heaven is having inner piece at heart.

Thank you, Brother Ben for all you have done for humanity.



鍾氏兄弟超越本色新嘗試,繼《鐘聲》後把自家Global Gospel Sound (GGS)推至巔峰!玩盡兩首經典福音作品!

*「親愛主」秉承「鍾」式爵士風,配合Michael Jackson御用和音編曲家Howard McCrary聯同五位美國獨當一面演唱家以六重唱方式,絕!


‧80年代香港首席結他手,闊別樂壇17年重出江湖,Chyna樂隊Peter Ng破天荒首度錄音!
‧鍾一匡藍調口琴, Bob Mocarsky,…Jezrael Lucero, 和格林美提名人Howard McCrary為首的Gospel Choir!

(14-20, 中午12時至晚9時; 21, 中午12時至晚7時)
地點:九龍彌敦道136號 A, 尖沙咀街坊福利會大禮堂

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