Ray Buttigieg (pronounced /beauty-gig/, with hard "g" as in "go") was born on the island of Gozo, the second largest island of the Maltese Islands on May 1, 1955. In a small picturesque village in the town of Qala, overlooking Mount Etna in the distant haze some fifty miles away, towering over the southern shores of Sicily, in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea Ray grew up surrounded by the big blue skies, the legendary shores and the waves of the seas immortalized in Homer's Odyssey. Some two miles away from his birth place lay the oldest megalithic temples in the world (Ggantija), dating back 7-8,000 years ago. This is a heritage Mr. Buttigieg is extremely proud of and subjects of great interest and wonderment, considering the builders of these temples, these timekeepers, these dwellers, were the ancestral people of which he is a descendant. He attended Qala primary school, then the Lyceum in Victoria, Gozo. He then moved to the United States where he continued his studies in New York where he settled for good. At the age of twenty he had already several poems published in anthologies in London and New York City. Ray's first professional recording with his band, Cykx, was a double-sided hit that made the charts in the U.S., Sweden, Portugal, and Malta. The first Maltese artist/composer ever to have a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, topping the charts at the young age of 21, with compositions he wrote when he was 17. Three years of dedicated and disciplined writing have yield several books of poetry that became published and further established Ray Buttigieg as this genius weaver of words. In the mid-80's, along with artists like Burne/Eno; Vangelis; Phillip Glass; Steve Reich; Kitaro; Deuter; Fripp/Summers; and Tangerine Dream, Ray Buttigieg was one of the top artists featured on WNYC's most successful "Favorite-Requests" fundraiser drive for public radio. Today like these composers/artists Ray Buttigieg is considered one of the first pioneers of Electronic music by many of today's recording artists, dj's, composers, producers and music makers in the ever growing electronic music genres and beyond. Even though New York City has been his home base for the past few decades, his beginnings and his ancestry of rich history is still very much evident in his musical ideas and works even today.
Writing Best known for Pastorale (1978), Poeticus I & II (1986) and (1992), and the very first book he ever wrote in his late teens Wizard's Spider Mystic Glider (1989) which are written in a classical style; he received criticism when he later introduced a more modern style in his experiments and improvisational poetry. In the last few years he returned to his earlier style in works like The Wisdom of Stones (2002), Remnants from the Book of Time (2002), and The Procession (1999). Although for the last 25 years Buttigieg has been writing only in English and very little in his native Maltese, his subject matter still includes a great deal of influence from his native Malta.
Ray Buttigieg since the age of ten became extremely interested in music when he started to sing Latin hymns on the gallery of the grand pipe organ at St Joseph's church. He was also attracted to pieces of metal of various sizes , weights and alloys as well as short wave radios where he thought the combination of these found instruments are uniquely musical that could be used as effects. He later learned the guitar and started to write songs for his first Rock improvisational band.
Buttigieg started his professional musical career in New York and Philadelphia where he fronted a six piece glam/rock band Cykx where his catchy tunes mixed with his lyrical poetry produced two top ten pop hits in the mid-seventies. At the same time synthesizers and computers and several electronic music experiments on tape were becoming more interesting to Ray Buttigieg than bandmates who could never agree on anything. Soon the band was defunct and a new project band started. Ray Buttigieg/Cykx, Cykx being the computer that replaced the members of the band. The pop or rock compositions now became explorations and experiments in sound. Compucircuit 0.008 m/s (1981), Mechanism of Thought (1984) were both very ground breaking album. Buttigieg believed that electronic synthesizers was a third 'high' in music, the first and second being acoustic and electric instruments.
Buttigieg embarked on a solo career ever since he set eyes and ears on his first keyboards, a Mellotron - keys to the music of the spheres. He was involved in multiple projects at the same time while being involved in solo major works and other series concepts like Earth noise and Sound Science Series in the 70's and The Symphonic Poems, Music for and Diary of an Earthling series in the 80's. Film and Video work were also becoming a very interesting avenue to combine visuals, poetry and as the music soundtrack that would define the visuals all done under the same roof. He continued his career by producing some influential and lush albums like Sound of Transformation - Symphonic Poem No.1 (1982) , Quantum Mechanics (1985), Music for Movies (1986), Codes (1987) and Musical Instincts of Nature.
Producing records and collaborating
Since the very beginning of his career in the mid-70's, Buttigieg has been sought after for creative guidance, collaborating, producing and as the idea man. His string of credits include In Rebellion, Process and After Thought in the 80's, and in the 90's co-wrote songs and produced bands like Novi Mystici, Prosper Falls, Selfish like Magnets and Noise Button. In the last few years of the new millennium Buttigieg has written songs for other artists in the genres of popular music/pop song, gothic format and has gone aggressively into everything electronic whether it is Electronica, Ambient, New age or Electronic producing and collaborating with bands like FTSG, Dyr3, System 6, Desire becomes Being and Circa 2000 AD.
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