Saturday, 26 October 2019

Chou Wen-chung : the passing of a true Man of Culture

Chou Wen-chung
Chou Wen-Chung (周文中) has died aged 96.  He was a man of great integrity and mental strength.  Now, perhaps, he'll meet up again with Edgard Varèse : the two of them both pioneers, totally original and courageous. No wonder they got on so well, even though they were so very different. A man of great integrity and mental strength. Now, perhaps, he'll meet up with Varèse : the two of them both pioneers. Varèse was not the kind of person who tolerated mediocrity, in himself or in anyone else.  He was also the kind of teacher who expected those he worked with to find their own way, like he had to do himself.  Like Varèse, Chou left his homeland for a new world, and Chou, even more so than Varèse was a man with deeply rooted cultural foundations, who bridged boundaries all through his life.  He was a great composer in his own right, but also more than a composer in the sense that everything he did expressed the wholeness of human creativity and experience. Please watch the video below, made earlier this year, which explains things better than I possibly can.  Chou exemplified the Confucian idea of 文人, a person who understands the concept that culture and learning have a role to play in the betterment of society. (look at the characters in his name - Learning + Central). Culture in its widest sense makes for a healthy society : no-one can suddenly disclaim their heritage without paying a price. (Please see my piece The World Belongs to Society)  So below, the video by Spiralis Music Trust - essential listening on so many levels !

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