Quiet Night Thoughts
Label: Wong Foo Jeng
A Prayer in Spring; Canvas; Inner Monologue; Oration; Blackberry Winter; Marco
Additional Personnel / Information
Christopher Jimmy Lim: Mixing/Mastering; Colin Flemister: Recording Engineer; Choo Kuan Yeoh: Album Artwork
In dealing with the themes of mindfulness and presence through music, I discovered that the artistic aesthetic of the album would have to be autodidactic, meaning that music’s poetic narrative will be self evident intuitively, since the act of instinctively deriving artistic intent fully encapsulates the spirit of contemplation. Art often transcends the linguistic framework in which we base our cerebral pursuits, and it is in this transcendence that we rediscover love and beauty. As put simply in the words of Shakespeare: “Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter; dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty, beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; no less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor; as much as child e’er loved, or father found; a love that makes breath poor, and speech unable; beyond all manner of so much I love you.” - Goneril (King Lear) The title “Quiet Night Thoughts” is a reference to the poem 静夜思 (Quiet Night Thought) by 李白 (Li Bai), who wrote this while trying to reconcile both his duty as a Confucian Scholar and his growing disconnect from his hometown. One of the pillars of Confucian thought is “Filial Piety”, a respect for one’s own ancestors, and so being away from his family presented himself with a conundrum that challenged the tenets of Confucianism. The content of the poem itself is of 李白 contemplating these thoughts, and this story serves as inspiration for the album’s themes and title. [静夜思 (Quiet Night Thought) 床前明月光 疑是地上霜 举头望明月 低头思故乡 Bright moonlight before my bed; I suppose it’s frost on the ground. I raise my head to see the bright moon, then lower it, thinking of my home.] The painting in the album cover is one part of a triptych entitled “Say Nothing, Do Nothing, Be Nothing” by Choo Kuan Yeoh (a Malaysian painter). Its interaction of different blacks as well as the textural contrast of different surfaces embodies the philosophical core of this album, in the words of Choo Kuan: to say nothing, do nothing and be nothing, but just ride on the thoughts into the night.
Album uploaded by Foo Jeng Wong