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"Figures Of The True"
Ray Lyon's Home Site
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"Figures Of The True" is a powerful collection of Biblically based contemporary instrumental jazz compositions which combine exquisite textures and grooves, soaring synth leads and burning piano solos into an exciting mix that is richly panoramic, evocative, and inspiring. Produced and recorded over a five year period at his own studio, Balsam Pillow, this recording is Ray's second release on Burning Blue Records.

The title, inspired by Christian writer and missionary Amy Carmichael, is a saying she coined in one of the many devotional books she has written. A “figure of the true” is something seen in the creation that reflects a spiritual truth (Hebrews 9:24). The music is a collection of songs that reflect truths regarding life’s experiences, the second coming of Christ, or the Divine Patterns behind the reality of all creation. Some of these figures include suffering, peace, searching, and joy as seen in the creation. The music is accompanied by selected writings from Ray, other authors, and Scripture.

"Figures Of The True" features guest appearances by Yellowjackets’ bassist Jimmy Haslip, Jonathan Joseph (drummer for Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, David Sanborn, Joe Zawinul, and Richard Bona), and Blue Man Group drummer/musician Jeff Quay among others.

Figures Of The True - Ray Lyon

1. Valley Of Vision
"The burden of the Valley of Vision." (Isaiah 22:1) KJV

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
You have brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see you in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold your glory.

Let me learn by paradox...
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter your stars shine;
Let me find your light in my darkness,
your life in my death,
your joy in my sorrow,
your grace in my sin,
your riches in my poverty,
your glory in my valley.

poem by Arthur Bennett
© Banner of Truth Trust
Used by permission

Carlos Jorge - bata drum, bongos, tambourine
Jonathan Joseph - drums
Ray Lyon - digital piano, synthesizers, synth bass, vocals
Dan Warner - electric guitar, guitar textures

2. The Yearning Sky

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed... We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Romans 8:19, 21)

The deep blue expanse waits. It is emptiness, a Figure of the True for the longing of creation for redemption and fulfillment. All of creation awaits. All of creation will worship when He comes.

Carlos Jorge - congas, bongos, shaker, timbales
Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers
Ed Maina - bass clarinet, soprano sax
Brad O'Donnell - bass
Jeff Quay - drums
Dan Warner - nylon string guitar

3. Under The Waterspouts

"Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" (Psalm 42:7) KJV

In the beauty and wild power of the grey sinewy waterspouts there is a Figure of the True of the suffering, fear and confusion in our lives... the whirlwind of the bitter sadness of sudden tragedy. Let the storms pass over you and trust in God for his protection. For in suffering, man finds God.

Jimmy Haslip - fretless bass
Jonathan Joseph - drums
Ray Lyon - electric piano, synthesizers
Ed Maina - tenor saxophone
David Schanzer - congas
Dan Warner - electric guitar

4. My Sun, My Shield

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." (Psalm 84:11)

As we walk on the path of Life, we have nothing to fear. The dancing rays of the sunbeam are a Figure of the True of He who goes before us, a shield behind and before.

Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers, synth bass, "faux guitar", vocals
Archie Pena - cymbals, bongos, udu drum, talking drum

5. Waiting For April

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)

The barren tree in winter represents a season in life. It is a Figure of the True of many things: waiting for joy, waiting for peace, waiting for fulfillment, and waiting for the coming of the kingdom of God.

Carlos Jorge - bongos, tambourine, triangle
Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers
John Michalak - tenor saxophone
Brad O'Donnell - bass
Jeff Quay - drums
Dan Warner - electric guitar

6. Signs + Wonders

"Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30)

There will be a sign in the heavens, a Figure of the True heralding the return of Jesus Christ to planet Earth. And all who place their trust in Him will be saved, to live forever.

Jimmy Haslip - fretless bass
Carlos Jorge - congas, bongos, shaker
Jonathan Joseph - drums
Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers, FX
Stephanie Lyon - french horn

7. Heart On A Suncloud

for Stephanie... this song came when I first met you...

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

As we look up and see the golden sunclouds at the end of a long day, it is a Figure of the True regarding the return of Jesus Christ to planet Earth for those who love him. God gave us clouds to remind us of His coming, and to fill us with longing for the hope of His coming. When you see the golden sunclouds, the billowing thunderheads, be reminded of your destiny... in the clouds. Look up!

Matthew Genck - acoustic and electric bass
Jonathan Genck - drums
Carlos Jorge - tambourine
Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers
Ed Maina - alto saxophone, EWI

8. Old Paths

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the old paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." (Jeremiah 6:16)

There is a Figure of the True in the well worn foot path leading into a dark green forest surrounded by mountains. It has been walked on by many souls who have journeyed through before. The path is safe, secure, and will not fail to lead Home those who trust in God.

Carlos Jorge - bongos, shaker
Ray Lyon - acoustic piano, synthesizers
Brad O'Donnell - fretless bass
Jeff Quay - drums
Dan Warner - nylon string guitar

9. Things To Come (The Land Of Far Distances)

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." (Habbakuk 2:3)

Through the beauty of a panoramic vista of a land far away, and the longing of wanting to be in that place, lies a Figure of the True of the great kingdom that is to come. It is a kingdom of righteousness and peace, a kingdom of light and happiness where every longing and dream is fulfilled.

Ray Lyon - digital piano, synthesizers, synth bass, vocal textures
Archie Pena - drums


Produced and recorded by Ray Lyon
All compositions and arrangements by Ray Lyon except for rhythm arrangement on "Waiting For April" which is by Ray Lyon, Jeff Quay, and Brad O'Donnell
Recorded, mixed, and mastered at Balsam Pillow Studio, Boca Raton, FL
Assistant Engineer: Vincent Alibrandi (rhythm tracking on "Waiting For April", "Old Paths", and "The Yearning Sky")
Drums on "Under The Waterspouts" and "Signs + Wonders" recorded by Michael Grosso at Spectrum Recording Studios, Pompano Beach, FL
Photography by Kenneth Appelbaum
Cover concept by Ray Lyon
Graphic design, artwork and layout by Tim Ravenna, Ravenna Design, Hollywood, FL
Jimmy Haslip appears courtesy of Unitone Records
all compositions _ 2000 Burning Blue Music/ASCAP

© 2000 Balsam Pillow, Inc. All rights reserved.


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"Farewell To Shadowlands"
Ray Lyon's Home Site
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"Farewell To Shadowlands" is music inspired by verses in the Bible regarding the second coming of Christ as well as the highly acclaimed allegorical work "The Chronicles of Narnia" by theologian and philosopher C.S. Lewis. Ray often refers to this project as "second coming music", a theme that is often explored in his composing. Cinematic and evocative in scope, this project features several improvised orchestral pieces and contemporary jazz compositions with guest appearances by guitarist Randy Bernsen, former Weather Report percussionist Robert Thomas, Jr., Blue Man Group drummer Jeff Quay, and two time Grammy Award winner pop/latin vocalist Jon Secada.

Farewell To Shadowlands - Ray Lyon

1. Forever Running (Isaiah 5:26-30, 40:31)

In the final chapter of the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, the great lion Aslan recreates Narnia. This is the "real Narnia," and is analogous to the second coming of Christ when He comes to bring in the everlasting kingdom of God. In the story, the children are running towards the real Narnia joyfully shouting "further up and further in" (which, by the way, was the original title for this tune). The song features a joyous, up-tempo driving samba beat, soprano sax and keyboard solos... and watch out for the whistle when you're driving!

2. In The Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)

A quiet meditative solo piece, this song is about bringing you into the Center, that place where no harm can befall you. The Center is that place where the Life of Christ has His place within us, a place of perfect peace and rest within. This composition is entirely keyboard based, except for the tinkling of a bell tree in the background.

3. Where The Wind Blows (John 3:8)

Who knows where the wind comes from or where it goes? So it is with the Holy Spirit's influence and calling upon our lives. And so it will be when Christ comes for those who love Him. The music reflects this... windy, driving, breezy, and light. Featured on this song is jazz guitarist Randy Bernsen who plays a wonderfully improvised solo over the form.

4. The Upper Country (Isaiah 33:17)

This song is a picture of being high in the clouds... "...sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth..." as John Gillespie writes in his famous poem "High Flight." Once again, the theme is running with joy... especially in the solo section where the synth harmonica solo begins. It's a bright happy tune. The eight note bell motif is also something that came from "somewhere else"... hard for me describe in any other way but remembrance.

5. The Healer (Luke 18:35-43)

This piece was improvised one day into my sequencer. After some editing I added various instruments (fretless bass, strings, harp, etc.) to complete the song. The song is introspective and complex, yet very harmonic in its approach. It serves as a prelude to the next composition on the album... in fact, the two pieces could very easily be played together as one.

6. Sun Of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)

This song came to me after listening to Pat Metheny/Lyle May's tune "5-5-7" on Pat Metheny Group's CD "Letter From Home". Structurally and emotionally (at least to me), it has some similar elements, especially with the triumphant and arching type of melody. An important element in this song is a sound I used as a backdrop which signifies the brilliance of the sun in all its glory. The sound represents Christ and gives the song a clear bright quality. This song paints another picture of the coming of Christ, in great glory, to heal our broken world.

7. Consider The Heavens (Psalm 19:1-6)

I call the form of this song a "semi-circle" where the beginning evolves from element to element then folds upon itself to end like it began. The intro is the sound of an orchestra tuning up, then swirling pads and textures enter in to create a feeling of wonder and awe as one looks up at the starry night sky. As the tune evolves, the words of the scripture come to mind... "what is man that you are mindful of him?" The song takes us on a little four minute journey through the heavens and ends gently, just as it began.

8. 1998 (Psalm 98)

Years ago, it was my prayer that Christ would return in 1998. All the conditions seemed right, and Psalm 98 describes the events that will occur on that Day. This is one of the more "jazz-rock" style tunes on the project and features a blazing guitar-like synth solo, and tricky time signatures. The overall theme is the joy that all of creation will experience when He comes... a theme reflected in the Psalm. By the way, the Christmas carol "Joy To The World" is also based on this Psalm.

9. On That Day (Zechariah 14:3-9)

A dark and foreboding piece, this dramatic song evokes imagery of what is going to happen according to the prophet Zechariah on the day Christ returns to rule. There will be no light, no frost, no cold... and on that day, the Lord will be "king over the whole earth." This song was initially an improvisation that was embellished with orchestral and textural elements. The melody was added later, using a fretless bass keyboard sound.

Ray Lyon: synthesizers, piano, synth bass, computer and sequencer programming
Jeff Quay: drums, cymbals, additional percussion
Randy Bernsen: guitar on "Where The Wind Blows"
Ed Maina: soprano sax on "Forever Running"
Jon Secada: vocal on "Sun Of Righteousness"
Robert Thomas, Jr.: hand drums on "Forever Running" and "The Upper Country"

Produced, composed, and arranged by Ray Lyon
Recorded by Michael Grosso
Mixed by Michael Grosso and Ray Lyon
Assistant Engineers: Roger Hughes, Jim Thomas
Recorded and Mixed at Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL
Additional Recording at New River Recording Studios, Ft Lauderdale, FL and Spectrum Recording Studios, Deerfield Beach, FL
Additional Mixing, Digital Editing, and Mastering at Balsam Pillow Studio, Boca Raton, FL
Art direction and cover painting by Steve Longacre
Inside photo by Stephanie Lyon
all compositions © 1993 Burning Blue Music/ASCAP

©2000 Balsam Pillow, Inc. All rights reserved.