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Ben’s life has always been connected to the power of music in human creativity, imagination, transformation, healing, and wellbeing. Ben grew up in a highly diverse community where he had opportunities to share his music for healing and wellbeing with people from numerous backgrounds and cultures. Dr. Koen’s research and applied practice in music, meditation, healing, and wellbeing illumines the elusive process of how music heals. He is widely published, including two benchmark books with Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology, and Beyond the Roof of the World: Music, Prayer, and Healing in the Pamir Mountains. Ben is an acclaimed musician and improviser and has performed and lectured in over fifty countries (tenor & soprano saxophone, diverse world flutes, didgeridoo, hand drums and percussion) and performed with such legendary figures as Cecil Taylor, David Murray, Babatunde Olatunji, William Parker, Fred Hopkins, and Tete Montoliu, among others.
Like many others, Lian-Hee’s identity may be described along different parameters. Culturally, he is a hybrid of Southeast Asia, various southern elements of Chinese, some flavours of American, and echoes of a British colonial past. Linguistically, he has a few first languages including Chiuchow and Hainanese, the latter he had lost and the former he speaks only with his parents, siblings and cousins, and necessarily only about mundane homely stuff. Lian-Hee is native in Singapore English across different social registers, Mandarin, and near native in Cantonese and Hong Kong English. His friends have kindly given him such wonderful appellations as guqin player/maker, flutist, poet, painter, animal-lover, activist, and scientist. However, friends are those who acknowledge one’s delusions. Professionally, he is a theoretical phonologist and a professor at the Department of English, Hong Kong Baptist University. His current research projects are in Hong Kong’s languages, the art of Guqin making, and Hong Kong’s past in tailoring arts.
18 June, 2021 (Friday), 4-5:30pm
“Spinning Outwards to a Larger We”
(For HKBU students: CCL-recognized seminars)