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For the love of music

Marlon Madden

For the love of music

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MUSIC is his passion and he has been playing various instruments, singing and even composing for more than 20 years.Ryan Boyce, 33, is a musician with big dreams. He said he was so passionate about music that he sometimes forgot to eat because he would be “too busy focusing on getting a piece polished and bringing it to production level and delivering it”.Boyce first realised his true potential in music when he entered secondary school. Even after earning a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Boyce put it aside and leaned towards his love – music.“The last couple of years have been great, but from primary school I hated doing piano lessons because everyone else was outside playing and having a lot of fun and I was stuck inside with a music teacher telling me that I have to do this a particular way and say that a particular way . . . until one day I was doing a passage of music and I was told that it sounded good. I was about eleven . . . So in secondary school I took up the tuba.“I was still playing the piano while in secondary school and I also experimented with the pipe and electric organ. I currently do all types of music but I started with classical.“When I got into secondary school I expanded into jazz and contemporary and, subsequent to that, I started some arranging and composition as well. I went to UWI and studied natural science with the hope of getting into research and that sort of thing but that got boring. You don’t get to meet as many people. There is more fun in music when you take that last bow and you hear the audience applause. I get a lot more umph!” said Boyce, who received a Best Student award at a camp in 1994 for his involvement in music.The Friendly Hall, St Lucy resident said after graduating from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, he became a sales representative while he continued with his music. Boyce was musical director for various groups and productions. He had also been a judge at various calypso events for about three years.“I like to perform my music and see my product out there. I prefer to stay in the background and get my production out there because then I get a truer sense of what an audience member is feeling or a truer picture rather than what they tell me to my face. Sure the stage is good, but I prefer to have a truer sense of the audience,” said the father of a two-year-old daughter.“Even before my daughter was born, I played music and sang for her. She is already into music at her age as she would get on the chair and attempt to play the piano at home. Perhaps she is one of my biggest critics,” added Boyce.This young musician has travelled throughout the Caribbean and to Canada, where he performed. He is hoping to perform in Europe some day. He is now focused on putting on a major production, which would be the first of its kind in Barbados.“What I am putting together now is called the 100-Voice Choir Project, where persons from different countries come together and prove that music is truly a universal language. Prior to this 100-Voice Choir Project, every year I put on what is called a Wine and Cheese event . . . Every year I try to put on some major production to celebrate music or assist groups, individuals or choirs. That is my thing right now, assisting and putting on productions that are acceptable,” Boyce explained.He said the St Thomas Parish Church would be transformed into an opera house for the event, which would be held on August 20 to 22, and there would be singers coming from places such as St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, Trinidad, St Vincent, Montserrat, New York and South Africa and they would all sing together.“Those are the singers. I have composers who want their songs sung at the production. That includes persons from Holland and Mexico. Then there are the local ones. So their music will be featured. There will be classical pieces, negro spirituals and a bit of contemporary, among others, which then ties into persons from the different cultural backgrounds,” he said.Boyce said despite the name there maight not be one hundred voices but the idea was for people “to have a new experience”.“Ideally, I would love to have one hundred voices, but the major focus is on the countries they are coming from, just to spend a couple of days together and sing together in Barbados. We started preparation in December,” said Boyce, noting that next year’s event would have people from Iraq and other countries that could not make it for this year.Boyce said the best part of performing for him was when he “hit” the first note and it came out right.“That is what most audiences remember; the first and the last notes. That is the most amazing part for me. As a musician, I also get emotional in my music because it is an emotional thing,” noted Boyce.He said his motivation over the years came from various musicians and the life stories of people involved in the arts.“For example, Tyler Perry. I listen to what he went through as a budding theatre specialist. It makes me say ‘Wow!’ If they can do it so can I, and I want to show people that if I can do it, so can you….”