Top Ear is the collaborative result of Hong Kong-based music enthusiasts Leonard Ip and Jeremy Lee.
Leonard Ip Philosophy major, exile from the noumenal world. 仕方ないね。In the spatiotemporal world of appearance, he also plays the piano. With a room flooded with books, scores and CDs (and – a nod to lazy people – concert programmes), he often finds it difficult to be put up with an agonizing variety of unmusical (not least non-musical) nuisances and is not unaware of being sometimes seen as a maverick. Among his possessions, ________ is his most prized. He writes regularly for the local magazine Hi Fi Review, and sporadically for IATC.
Jeremy Lee has been writing about various things from a very young age and one of his most successful writings was a hand-written story book written when he was 7 and briefly displayed in a school exhibition. He is a pianist who has attempted (often fruitlessly) difficult works such as Alkan’s Symphony for Solo Piano and Debussy’s Feux d’Artifices, and a saxophonist who has, among other things, played with the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and attended a masterclass given by Fabrice Moretti. (Fortunately, his saxophone and piano are in good condition, although his 35-year-old piano snapped its strings at least 8 times last year.) He is also a composer and arranger who has, as he likes to put it, “never completed anything he has started and never started anything that he can complete”, although he has had his transcription of Grainger’s Scotch Strathspey and Reel for saxophone ensemble completed and premiered lately. A self-professedly proficient armchair conductor, he has waved his baton mostly accurately to works as diverse as Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and the odd chamber/piano piece. He is an abnormally enthusiastic 9gagger, ever willing to express his musical views through memes, an avid viewer of the television programme Top Gear (of which inspired this blog), and a passionate fan of Soramimi videos, which he finds most hilarious, a view most unfortunately not shared by his co-writer Leonard. He is in possession of what is possibly the most curious (and rapidly expanding) contingency of classical music CDs ever owned by a music writer. He has written regularly for the magazine Crossmen. Lastly, he is not crazy about gastronomy.