Night Fever

Hong Kong Tatler - - To Our Readers - — Sean Fitz­patrick Chief Cre­ative Of­fi­cer

Amer­i­can poet Wil­liam Car­los Wil­liams gave us this gem: “In sum­mer, the song sings it­self.” It’s July and sum­mer is def­i­nitely here, with its blaz­ing heat and flash rains that punc­tu­ate the stretches of blue sky. The song’s in­deed singing it­self—things are in easy flow and mu­sic is all around. Tunes are still ring­ing in my ears from two re­cent events, the First Ini­tia­tive Foun­da­tion’s (FIF) In Har­mony fundrais­ing gala and, at the other end of the sonic spec­trum, Can­ton Disco’s 30th an­niver­sary party.

In Har­mony drew to­gether the city’s so­phis­ti­cates and cul­tural icons, in­clud­ing this month’s cover star and FIF am­bas­sador, Ca­rina Lau, for a spec­tac­u­lar evening of food, wine and, of course, mu­sic. FIF founder Michelle Ong al­ways rev­els in de­liv­er­ing some­thing su­perla­tive and un­ex­pected. At a pre­vi­ous gala, she pre­sented the in­com­pa­ra­ble Amer­i­can so­prano Renée Flem­ing. For this year’s sum­mer edi­tion, Ong lined up Chi­nese pi­anist Sa Chen and France’s Di­o­tima Quar­tet, who per­formed César Franck’s Pi­ano Quin­tet in F Mi­nor— and what a fan­tas­tic choice it was. I’m no clas­si­cal buff, but lis­ten­ing to these five vir­tu­osos play the thrilling and dra­matic mu­sic was a sheer joy. In Franck, I heard the roots of mod­ern cin­e­matic scor­ing, in par­tic­u­lar the pul­sat­ing ten­sion of Bernard Her­rmann, Al­fred Hitch­cock’s favoured com­poser. I’ll be sure to check out more of this im­pres­sion­is­tic com­poser; bravo to Ms Ong for open­ing our ears once again. To see our ex­clu­sive and ex­ten­sive re­port on the FIF In Har­mony event, turn to page 145.

It was mu­sic of another kind, how­ever, when hun­dreds of erst­while scen­esters gath­ered to celebrate the 30th an­niver­sary of Can­ton Disco. It may have been held at Cen­tral’s Lupa, but the mood was distinc­tively Kowloon as the for­mer reg­u­lars re­united (many in acid-wash denim!) to moon­walk, body-pop or sim­ply flail around again to synth-pop and street groove. For those of you who were too young to re­mem­ber, Can­ton was the king of night­clubs from 1985 to 1991, when Lan Kwai Fong hadn’t evolved into the be­he­moth it is to­day. Si­t­u­ated on Tsim Sha Tsui’s Can­ton Road (hence the name), the sprawl­ing venue was the place to be, thanks to its savvy founder and nightlife im­pre­sario, An­drew Bull. Thirty years later, it’s still the place to be, judg­ing by the great turnout. For more, turn to page 70, where you’ll find the wild party cap­tured by the dis­tinc­tive lens of Crazy Rouge.

Let the mu­sic play on!

kings of kowloon My wife, Jackie, and I had a proper old-school time with nightlife im­pre­sario An­drew Bull (cen­tre) at the 30th an­niver­sary party for Can­ton Disco

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