Violinist Ray Chen Announces ‘Lockdown’ Album ‘Solace’
Award-winning violinist Ray Chen, described as “the sunshine in the violin world” by The temperature, announced their new studio album Comfort, professionally recorded and taken from home during the global lockdown, will be released digitally on August 7, 2020. Comfort includes six movements by JS Bach Six sonatas and partitas for solo violin representing the personal and powerful feelings that Ray Chen experienced this year.
“I hope many of you find solace and solace in music”
The coronavirus pandemic that has crippled the world this year has also created a moment of introspection and a renewed appreciation for the power of music. Ray Chen explained, “Music heals the soul, it calms us, centers us and creates focus in our lives. Bach’s music in particular, written so ahead of its time, reminds us of an important message: that humanity struggles despite obstacles. He added, “I hope many of you find solace and solace in music.”
Ray Chen built a professional studio from the ground up in his own home
Ray Chen built a professional studio from scratch in his own home to record Comfort. He procured the best possible recording equipment and long-distance advice from record producer Jonathan Allen to set up his studio. Ray selected six movements from JS Bach Six sonatas and partitas for solo violin for Comfort. The context of each movement represents personal and powerful feelings he has experienced during that year and they collectively create a narrative of his emotions.
Bach’s ‘Preludio’ Overture E major Partita No. 3, spells out a familiar feeling of joy and connection. Bach’s ‘Fugue’ Sonata No. 1 in G minor seeks truth through a filter of anxious worry. The ‘Sarabande’ of sound Partita in D minor evokes feelings of isolation and sadness evolving into frustration expressed through Bach’s Allegro Sonata in A minor No. 2. The album ends with Bach’s “Largo” from his Sonata No. 3 in C major and ‘Gavotte en Rondeau’ to evoke the feeling of hope.
In addition to releasing Comfort Ray Chen also shared a documentary about the creation of his album quaRAYntine.
“Certain events have the power to forever change our view of the world. Music has that same power.
Ray Chen reflected on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted his musical creation and his choice of these particular works: “My mentor Christoph Eschenbach once told me, ‘Music when it repeats, can’t be played the same way because by then you are already a few seconds older and wiser. Certain events have the power to change our outlook on the world forever. Music has that same power.
About Ray Chen
Ray Chen is a violinist redefining what it means to be a classical musician in the 21st century. He was billed as “one to watch” by The Strade and Gramophone and featured in Forbes list of 30 most influential Asians under 30. Described by The Washington Post as an artist who “can do just about anything he wants on the violin”, Ray has formed ongoing collaborations with renowned conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach and Manfred Honeck; as well as top orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony and London Philharmonic. Through his popular social media presence, he enhanced the established classical audience by bringing his millennial and millennial Z fans into the concert hall. Ray Chen was born in Taiwan, raised in Australia and was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of fifteen to study with Aaron Rosand. He plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin that once belonged to the famous Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim.
Ray Chen’s new album Comfort has been digitally published.