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Ray Lynch

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Ray Lynch
Born (1943-07-03) July 3, 1943 (age 74)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Genres Adult alternative, instrumental, classical, new-age (disavowed by artist)[1][2]
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Guitar, lute, keyboards, piano
Years active 1967–1974; 1980–2000
Labels Ray Lynch
Music West
Windham Hill

Raymond "Ray" Lynch[3] (born July 3, 1943) is an American guitarist, lutenist, keyboardist, and composer. He began his musical career in 1967 by performing in The Renaissance Quartet in New York City before leaving in 1974 and giving up his musical career. During his hiatus, Lynch studied with his spiritual teacher, Adi Da, who would ultimately encourage him to return to music. Lynch produced many albums during the 1980s and 1990s, including Deep Breakfast, No Blue Thing, and Nothing Above My Shoulders but the Evening. Initially producing his music independently, Lynch eventually worked with Music West. After Lynch sued and left the company, Lynch joined Windham Hill in 1992 before retiring in 2000. Lynch has won three Billboard awards.

Early life[edit]

Lynch was born on July 3, 1943 in Salt Lake City, Utah.[4][5] As the second of four children, Lynch was raised in West Texas.[6][7] Lynch's father was a lawyer;[8] Lynch's mother was not only a noted watercolorist but an amateur pianist who influenced him to create music as a child. Other early influences included hymns and soundtracks.[9] Lynch began studying the piano at the age of six. At age twelve, he was inspired by Andrés Segovia's classical recordings and decided to pursue a career in music.[6][10] After attending High School in both St. Stephen's Episcopal School and Austin High School,[a] Lynch went to the Austin campus of the University of Texas. After studying there for a year, he moved to Barcelona with his then wife Ginny and his child.[5] Over there, he was apprenticed to Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, a classical guitar teacher. Three years later Lynch returned to the university to study composition with various instruments including guitar, lute, and vihuela.[3][10][12][13] While Lynch went on to become a musician, his siblings ended up becoming lawyers.[8]

Life and Career[edit]

In 1967, while still in college, Lynch was invited to New York City to join The Renaissance Quartet, performing the lute alongside Robert White (tenor), Barbara Mueser (viol), and Morris Newman (recorder),[14][15][16] replacing Joseph Iadone.[17] Lynch also performed with other groups, such as "Festival Winds",[18] as well as collaborative[19][20] and solo performances.[21] Lynch also taught the guitar, lute, and vihuela in the Mexican city of Taxco in the late 1960s.[13] During his career, Lynch purchased a 125-acre farm in Maine.[21] By 1974, Lynch experienced a "spiritual crisis" that led to his decision to move from Maine to California and give up his musical career. Although he became a carpenter and a purchasing agent in California, Lynch also continued to practice his compositional skills.[14][22][23] In an interview with Arizona Republic, Lynch said that his return to music was prompted by a suggestion from his spiritual teacher, Adi Da, in California.[24]

To prepare for his return to music, Lynch bought an ARP Odyssey with "borrowed money" in 1980; the synthesizer helped him create music in the developing electronic genre.[25] Two years later, Lynch released his first album, Truth is the Only Profound, which recites the teachings of Adi Da "set to the background of devotional music and songs".[11][26] Lynch later followed up with an instrumental album, The Sky of Mind.[27] When Lynch released his third album, Deep Breakfast, in 1984 independently, he sold over 72,000 albums out of his small apartment.[28][29] Lynch was featured on Musical Starstreams on June 1985.[30] Immediately after joining Music West in Winter 1985,[31] he released Deep Breakfast to a wider audience.[32] The album was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA.[33] In 1989, No Blue Thing became Lynch's first album to hit #1 on Billboard's "Top New Age Albums" chart.[34] No Blue Thing was also his only album to appear on Billboard's "Top 200 Albums", peaking at #197.[35] It won Billboard's "Top New Age Album" in 1990,[36] and Lynch also won Billboard's "Top New Age Artist" in both 1989[37] and 1990.[36]

During his time with Music West, Lynch was featured on Good Morning America[38] as well as the Spanish La 1 program "Música N.A.".[38][39] In 1991, Lynch sued Music West for allegedly not paying him for his work.[40][41][42] He left Music West, taking the rights to his music with him, and signed up with Windham Hill Records.[43][44] Under the new label, Lynch's albums were re-released on September 1992 with new album covers.[45]

Under the new record company, Lynch followed up with his final album, the classical Nothing Above My Shoulders but the Evening, in 1993. The album featured members of the San Francisco Symphony.[46] Like the preceding album, it hit #1 on the "Top New Age Albums" chart.[47] In 1998, Lynch released his first and only compilation album, Ray Lynch: Best Of, Volume One, which included two original tracks and a remix of "Celestial Soda Pop".[48][49] Lynch left Windham Hill in 2000 and re-released his own catalog of music under his own record company.[11]

On September 2015, Lynch's house was destroyed by the Valley Fire, along with his studio, awards, and the master tapes of his music. As a result, his friend Grant Valdes Huling set up a GoFundMe page, which raised over $18,000 as of January 2018.[50][51]


Throughout his career, Lynch did not want his music to be classified as "New Age".[1] In an interview with CD Review on August 1989, Lynch and said he didn't really mind being labeled as a "new age" artist, but says that he doesn't like "being grouped with music that I felt is, in general, pretty mediocre and boring". Lynch also said that "'classical' would be the best category for me."[52]

Lynch had been both a student and follower of Adi Da since 1974.[6] In regards to the spiritual nature of his music, Lynch believed that it "has to be judged subjectively by the listener, not the composer."[53] Lynch named several of his songs and albums after the themes found in Da's novel, The Mummery Book.[54][55] However, in a 1989 Arizona Republic interview, Lynch clarified that he wasn't trying to promote Da's work through his music.[55] After the death of Adi Da, Lynch performed various songs for Da's tribute album, "May You Ever Dwell In Our Heart", in 2009.[56]


Album Year Label Chart Performance Reference
US New Age US Billboard 200
Weeks Peak Weeks Peak
Truth Is The Only Profound 1982 Ray Lynch Productions [26]
The Sky of Mind 1983 Ray Lynch Productions [27]
Deep Breakfast 1984 Ray Lynch Productions
Music West
Windham Hill Records
156 2 [57]
No Blue Thing 1989 Music West
Windham Hill Records
99 1 2 197 [57][58]
Nothing Above My Shoulders but the Evening 1993 Windham Hill Records 41 1 [57]
Ray Lynch: Best Of, Volume One 1998 Windham Hill Records 8 19 [59][60][61]


  1. ^ In interviews, Lynch says he was raised in West Texas,[6] but he also says that his high schools were in Austin, which is in central Texas.[11]


  1. ^ a b "While Elvis is rolling over". Santa Cruz Sentinel. August 5, 1994. p. 35. Retrieved February 27, 2017. Ray Lynch, who with his 1984 album "Deep Breakfast" practically defined New Age music, is now saying, no, he is not a New Age composer. 
  2. ^ "Tickertape" (PDF). Cash Box. June 3, 1989. p. 2. Retrieved March 26, 2017. Lynch doesn't cozy to the new age tag, but we're stumped for what else to call his witty, electronic keyboard classicisms. 
  3. ^ a b "The Renaissance Quartet to perform". UC San Diego. February 13, 1969. Raymond Lynch, who will play the lute, began his musical studies on the guitar, which he perfected in Barcelona, Spain, under the tutelage of one of the great masters of the guitar, Eduardo Sains de la Maza. When he returned to the United States to the University of Texas, he developed a technical command of the lute, vihuela and guitar. 
  4. ^ "Ray Lynch". AllMusic. Retrieved April 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Yanow, Scott (August 1987). "Fine Instrumental Cuisine from Ray Lynch". Cymbiosis. West Covina, California. 1 (3): 22–23; 41. ISSN 0895-6936. OCLC 16743840. Born 3 July 1943 in Salt Lake City...'With my wife and kid I moved to Barcelona, Spain to study with a very good teacher, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, for 3 years.' 
  6. ^ a b c d Lynch, Ray. "Ray Lynch: Up Close and Personal". Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  7. ^ Strachan, Alex (October 19, 1993). "Love for music can be deadly". The Vancouver Sun. p. E2. Lynch rarely leaves his native Texas, and for a musician raised on the monotonous rolling flats, this is all a bit much. 
  8. ^ a b Biehl, Kathy (October 1989). "Calm Yourself". ABA Journal. 75 (10): 122. Retrieved February 2, 2018. ...try anything by Stephen Halpern or Ray Lynch (who is, coincidentally, the son and brother of lawyers) or Kay Gardner's "Rainbow Path." 
  9. ^ Van Ness, Chris (August 1989). "New Age's Renaissance Man". CD Review. 6 (12): 40. Retrieved February 28, 2017. Now at 45, Lynch became hooked on music early. 'I remember being very moved, at the age of 3 or 4, by some of the music I heard in church, and later by music from the movies. Also, I was influenced by my mother, who was a good amateur pianist.' 
  10. ^ a b Van Ness, Chris (August 1989). "New Age's Renaissance Man". CD Review. 6 (12): 40. Retrieved February 28, 2017. at age 12, however, he took up classical guitar. He studied under guitarist Eduardo Sainz de la Maza in Barcelona in the early 1960s, and later attended the University of Texas in Austin to study composition. 
  11. ^ a b c Lynch, Ray. "Ray Lynch – Biography". Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  12. ^ Widders-Ellis, Andy (December 1989). "Ray Lynch: Exploring the Structure of Music". Keyboard. 15 (12): 29. [Lynch] studied composition at the University of Texas, where he wrote experimental orchestral pieces, and learned classical guitar in Spain. 
  13. ^ a b "To Present Concert". The Ithaca Journal. 155 (28): 5. February 1, 1969. Lynch, who performs early music, began his musical studies on the guitar. He studied in Barcelona, Spain under Eduardo Sainz de la Maza. He returned to the United States and continued to study guitar as well as lute and vihuela at the University of Texas. Recently, he taught these instruments as part of an Early Music Symposium in Tasco, Mexico (sic). 
  14. ^ a b Van Ness, Chris (August 1989). "New Age's Renaissance Man". CD Review. 6 (12): 40. Retrieved February 28, 2017. In '67, Lynch was invited to become lutenist with the Renaissance Quartet in New York. He spent seven years performing with the Quartet and other groups, building a name within the Big Apple's "Early Music" scene. In the mid-'70s, he left it all behind to move to California and reexamine his goals, working as a carpenter and as an industrial purchasing agent while continuing to hone his compositional skills. 
  15. ^ Means, Andrew (May 30, 1989). "Ray Lynch prefers studios to stages for his harmonics". The Arizona Republic. 100 (12): 18–19. Retrieved March 13, 2017. After considering other options at college, Lynch decided to become a professional musician. Composition could not provide a viable living, he decided, so in 1967, he accepted an invitation to play the lute with the Renaissance Quartet, based in New York. 
  16. ^ "Harpsichord in Renaissance". The Post-Standard. 140 (209): 14. July 21, 1969. The tenor, Robert White, through an opera performer, has achieved a commendable style for singing older music with this combination. Other members are Raymond Lynch, lutinist (sic) who began as a guitar player; Barbara Mueser, viol de gamba player; Morris Newman, recorder artist and a member of the Kranis Baroque Ensemble. 
  17. ^ "Renaissance Quartet". Billboard. 79 (7). Nielsen Business Media, Inc. February 18, 1967. p. 74. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  18. ^ Musical America: Directory of the performing arts. Billboard Publications. 1972. p. 58. Retrieved January 22, 2018. The management continues as well to present the Festival Winds; tenor Hugues Cuenod; soprano Jean Hakes; Raymond Lynch, lute; and Albert Fuller, harpsichord. 
  19. ^ Strongin, Theodore (December 22, 1969). "Janus Chorale in a Mixed-Media Concert". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2017. The Renaissance Quartet (Raymond Lynch, lute; Barbara Mueser, viola de gamba, Morris Newman, recorder, and Jean Hakes, soprano, substituting for Robert White, tenor) also played and sang like angels. 
  20. ^ Reinthaler, Joan (February 5, 1969). "Old Music Gets New Sound". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2017. Last night at the Smithsonian tenor Hughes Cuenod and lutenist Raymond Lynch collaborated on a program of early music. None of it was written after 1640. 
  21. ^ a b The Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Kollington – Morphine (4 ed.). MUZE. 1998. p. 384. Retrieved April 17, 2017. Purchasing a 125-acre farm in Maine, Lynch concurrently toured the country giving virtuoso solo performances... 
  22. ^ Means, Andrew (May 30, 1989). "Ray Lynch prefers studios to stages for his harmonics". The Arizona Republic. 100 (12): 18–19. Retrieved March 13, 2017. Eventually, he moved to Maine, and it was there he had the spiritual crisis that took him West. 
  23. ^ Means, Andrew (May 30, 1989). "Ray Lynch prefers studios to stages for his harmonics". The Arizona Republic. 100 (12): 18–19. Retrieved March 13, 2017. All in all, it's been quite a turnaround for a man who moved across country in the mid-'70s resigned to a change of career. 'I thought the music was over,' said Lynch, who had been playing in a group that performed medieval and Elizabethan music in New York and New England. 'I was just ready to lead an ordinary life and be a carpenter.' 
  24. ^ Means, Andrew (May 30, 1989). "Ray Lynch prefers studios to stages for his harmonics". The Arizona Republic. 100 (12): 18–19. Retrieved March 13, 2017. A 'spiritual and personal crisis' in which he felt he was at a dead end led Lynch to the West Coast. Once there, he studied the work of American spiritual teacher and author Love-Ananda (also known as Dafree John), and eventually Love-Ananda suggested that Lynch return to music. 
  25. ^ Van Ness, Chris (August 1989). "New Age's Renaissance Man". CD Review. 6 (12): 40. Retrieved February 28, 2017. By 1980, the synthesizer age was developing, and Lynch began experimenting with an Arp model he bought with 'borrowed money'. 
  26. ^ a b Feuerstein, Georg (December 1, 1984). Humor Suddenly Returns: Essays on the Spiritual Teaching of Master Da Free John. p. 212. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  27. ^ a b Strachan, Alex (October 19, 1993). "Love for music can be deadly". The Vancouver Sun. p. E2. He began recording using equipment in his own home, and the result was The Sky of Mind. 
  28. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (October 25, 1986). "Indies". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. N–4; N–20. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Ray Lynch's Home Page: Albums". Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  30. ^ Freeman, Kim (June 22, 1985). "Featured Programming". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  31. ^ Svetich, Kevin (December 1990). "Music West Records: the best of two worlds". California Business: 14. He [Allan Kaplan] sought out Lynch, who was doing his own billing and shipping, and convinced him that together they could do a better job of distributing his music. In the winter of 1985, Kaplan started Music West Records with one musicianLynch-a warehouse in Marin and $40,000. 
  32. ^ McCormick, Moria (June 3, 1989). "No Quick 'Blue Thing'" (PDF). Billboard. 101 (22). Retrieved March 19, 2017. The Marin County, Calif., resident initially released "Deep Breakfast" on his own label, Ray Lynch Productions, "shipping out of my living room, until Music West took over two years ago." In fact, says Lynch, Music West president Allen Kaplan 'started the company based on discussions with me. Now they have about half a dozen different artists.' 
  33. ^ Jeffery, Don (February 5, 1994). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 62. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  34. ^ "New Age Music: Top New Age Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  35. ^ "Top 200 Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "The Year in Music 1990" (PDF). Billboard. 102 (51): YE-26. December 22, 1990. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Top New Age Artists" (PDF). Billboard. 101 (51): Y-46. December 23, 1989. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  38. ^ a b Kaplan, Allan (June 30, 1990). "Making the Waves of the Future" (PDF). Billboard. 102 (26). p. W-30. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Since then, Ray has been played on over 3,000 radio stations around the world. He has been on "Good Morning America," Spanish television, National Public Radio programming, and played on many international radio stations around the world. 
  39. ^ Trecet, Ramón (December 20, 2015). "Ray Lynch – Musica NA 1991". Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  40. ^ Russell, Deborah (July 6, 1991). "New Age Act Ray Lynch Exits Music West In Pact Dispute" (PDF). p. 76. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  41. ^ "The Sun Sets On The Music West label; Jazz-Sampler Discovery; Couple Of Confabs" (PDF). Billboard: 45. July 18, 1992. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  42. ^ "Court Order Restrains Music West On Lynch Titles" (PDF). October 19, 1991. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  43. ^ Stack, Peter (September 3, 1992). "Something Else". San Francisco Chronicle. San Rafael new age composer Ray Lynch ('No Blue Thing'), whose own label went down last year, has signed with Windham Hills Records. 
  44. ^ Christman, Ed (14 November 1992). "Windham Hill". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  45. ^ Miller, Trudi (September 12, 1992). "Windham Hill Reissuing Lynch Catalog" (PDF). Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  46. ^ "New Age Leaders". CD Review. 10 (12): 24. August 1994. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  47. ^ "New Age Music: Top New Age Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  48. ^ "New Age Journal". New Age Journal. 15 (2–6): 99. 1998. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  49. ^ Carrillo, Carmel (March 19, 1998). "Ray Lynch – Best Of". The Baltimore Sun: 78. 
  50. ^ Huling, Grant. "Click here to support Wildfire support for Ray Lynch by Grant Huling". GoFundMe. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  51. ^ Huling, Grant. "Wildfire support for Ray Lynch". Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  52. ^ Van Ness, Chris (August 1989). "New Age's Renaissance Man". CD Review. 6 (12): 40. Retrieved February 28, 2017. Still, Lunch is uncertain about where his music belongs. 'I would say that 'classical' would be the best category for me,' he says with some reservation. 'It's just that I'm not dead, and I'm not a contemporary experimenter who can be easily labeled. I don't really mind the 'new age' label, but I don't like being grouped with music that I feel is, in general, pretty mediocre and boring.' 
  53. ^ "New Age Nostrum". Life. 11 (2). February 1988. pp. 108–111. Retrieved April 2, 2017. Ray Lynch, a classically trained composer and synthesist, is a follower of Da Love-Ananda...'the spiritual worth of any given piece has to be judged subjectively by the listener, not the composer,' says Lynch, 44. 
  54. ^ "Ray Lynch: Deep Breakfast". Digital Audio & Compact Disc Review. 3 (5): 19. January 1987. Several of his themes, "The Oh of Pleasure," "Your Feeling Shoulders," and "Tiny Geometries," as well as the disc's title, were taken from the unpublished Buddhist novel The Mummery by Da Free John. 
  55. ^ a b Means, Andrew (May 30, 1989). "Ray Lynch prefers studios to stages for his harmonics". The Arizona Republic. 100 (12): 18–19. Retrieved March 13, 2017. Many of the titles on Deep Breakfast and No Blue Thing come from The Mummery, Love-Ananda's unpublished novel. Lynch said the novel is about "the transcendence of the ego," and it may be published this year. [...] Despite the references to Love-Ananda's book, Lynch said he's not trying to promote a particular philosophy through the music. 
  56. ^ "May You Ever Dwell In Our Hearts". The Dawn Horse Press. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  57. ^ a b c Lynch, Ray. "Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  58. ^ Lynch, Ray. "Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  59. ^ "Top New Age Albums" (PDF). March 21, 1998. p. 46. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Week 2; from March 14, 1998 
  60. ^ "Top New Age Albums" (PDF). April 18, 1998. p. 36. Retrieved March 26, 2017. Week 7 
  61. ^ "Top New Age Albums" (PDF). May 2, 1998. p. 39. Retrieved March 26, 2017. Re-entry; Week 8 

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