Ricker Choi Plays the Debussy Clair de Lune

by | Jun 4, 2013

Ricker Choi performing the Debussy Clair de Lune at a benefit concert for SickKids Foundation in 2013.

The name Clair de Lune comes from Paul Verlaine’s poem of the same name. When I listen to or perform Clair de Lune, however, I don’t necessarily need to conjure up the poem’s imagery; the music speaks to me directly.

I think there is always this debate between program music and absolute music. To me the Debussy Clair de Lune might have been inspired by a program (the poem in this case), but once the music is composed, it now becomes its own poetry. The poem is no longer needed to comprehend this beautiful piece of work.

When I perform Clair de Lune, the opening feels like waves to me, as if I am floating in mid-air, moving like a feather on the whims of a gentle night breeze.

[list][li type=”icon-caret-right”]Then at 0:39 when the bass comes in to support the theme, I feel a sense of wonder. Wonder at the beauty of the world.[/li]

[li type=”icon-caret-right”]At 1:06 when the deep deep bass comes in, I feel the earth rumble from deep down, channeling the energy through me.[/li]

[li type=”icon-caret-right”]Then at 1:57, I feel like I am in the ocean, floating along its wavy ebbs and flows.[/li]

[li type=”icon-caret-right”]Around 2:27, when it floats higher and higher, the ocean carries me higher and higher—reaching the moon.[/li]

[li type=”icon-caret-right”]2:41—it is now deep night… no sound, just silence and darkness.[/li]

[li type=”icon-caret-right”]At 3:09, the moon shines through, reflecting on a beautiful, calm lake. I am the moonbeam itself.[/li][/list]

Guest Writer Ricker Choi is a full-time financial risk consultant. He won second prize at the 2010 Berlin International Amateur Piano Competition, where he performed with the Berlin Sibelius Orchestra in the Berlin Philharmonic’s 2,500-seat Großer Saal. In 2006, Ricker founded Music Heals!, a series of fundraising concerts for charity organizations such as SickKids Foundation.


  1. Arlette

    Mothers favorite…..Clair de Lune.
    She would ask me, to play it for her often……so when I moved to NY & would come home for Holiday or Family Event….I would play this first. So Powerful……
    Today I have listened to every version I could find on the internet…over eight hours of Clair de Lune. What I learned, was what I knew…..everyone is different. Personally, solo piano is my favorite way to hear & experience this wonderful piece of music…..&…..loved a solo ballet video & the “Moon over water with clouds” photography……but I have to say…..Ricker Choi touched that piano & my Heart!!! I will come back to listen to him again!!! Listening to him…I can now, for today stop my insatiable need to hear this piece….you see….my Mom passed away 8 years ago today. I just love her so & needed to hear her favorite “tune”….. maybe an attempt to fill my house & Heart with her. Maybe to make up for the fact we……her family…….. me….forgot…..did not honor her request to play this at her Service.
    Thank You for this gift today……Perfect…..Full…..Wonderful!!!!
    Blessings for all you are & do,
    Arlette…your newest fan

  2. Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor

    Arlette, I’m so glad that you enjoyed Ricker’s performance. I feel the same way about it. When he showed me this video, I fell in love with it immediately. The emotion he brings to the piece really shines through. Now I hope that this posting will serve as a memorial of sorts to your mother. Nancy Williams

    • Arlette

      Nancy……Thank you for sharing that.
      My mother……… is smiling with us! Truly a True & Healing Vibration!!!
      We are Blessed, to be able to “Fall in Love” when in the presents of Beauty & True Talent & Emotion.
      All Gods Blessings,
      xoxoxox Arlette

  3. ricker choi

    Hi Arlette … thank you for sharing you story. It is a great thing to know my performance touched your heart. It is my great pleasure to know my interpretation can evoke deep feelings. Thank you!!!

    • Arlette

      What a treat to see Nancy’s & your reply!!! It is so rare, that I leave a comment on The Internet…… &……
      to go “All Out” & Personal….Intimate…. regarding the state I was in when I came across your performance.
      I had never listened to a piece….. All Day…… like that before. And like I said, Mom passed eight years ago, & I have listened to Clair de Lune many times during those years. I am grateful & feel Blessed to have experienced “What I Experienced” on that day. I needed to hear THAT interpretation by you at That Moment………… As you KNOW…..Music is Healing…..Everything has a Space & Vibration….like a key…..
      I believe….that Vibration opens Hearts & helps clear impediments from blocking our True Selves to Shine.
      Thank You……for putting your “True Self” out there…. & for allowing me to Hear this wonderful piece…..the way I would have Loved to have played it for my Mother……….
      May God continue to Bless You,
      I will Hold you in my Heart & Meditations……
      Oh…& in my “Favorites” to listen to you AGAIN!!!
      xoxoxoxoxo Arlette


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.