This is an unprecedented collaboration of three masters of Canto-Pop, Sam Hui, Lin Xi and Adrian Chow, alumni of HKU from different generations.

Since its inception, HKU has been one of the prime movers of Hong Kong culture. Not only culture in the sense of philosophy and high art, but also of popular longings and desires. Over time HKU has generated a host of alumni who, through their groundbreaking creative works, speak to common people's sentiments and help shape a local collective identity.

Sam Hui, with his bold infusion of local vernacular into western Rock and Pop music genres in the 1970s, literally created a new language of pop music. His songs offered a progressive sound and a uniquely incisive take on the trials and tribulations of ordinary people. They have since become the collective soundtracks for a whole generation making their mark in a rapidly modernising Hong Kong.

Lin Xi's lyrics have been a benchmark in the culture of Canto-Pop, thanks to his seemingly incessant stream of outstanding works since the 1980s. From the diverse notions of love and life, to the reflections on the younger generations' attitudes to political issues, his blend of the mundane and the philosophical has inspired many lyricists, not only locally but throughout the Greater China and overseas Chinese community.

Though Adrian only started his music career in the 21st century, his key outputs via Kay Tse have established him as an all-round composer-lyricist-arranger-producer. His hybrid music styles are unmistakably of the new age. Yet in his compassionate tunes of socio-cultural concerns, we can see echoes of Sam Hui, harking back to the peoples voices of the 1970s.

Over the years, we have debated and elaborated on the core values of HKU. We are thankful the three alumni from three generations, on this important day of reflection, contribute their thoughts on the topic. "Brighten Me with Virtues", unadorned, uplifting and from the heart. This is a song to remind us that we must continue to hold on and spread the quintessential core values of our Alma Mater.

  Dr C H Ng
  Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
  Dr Wong Chi Chung
  Assistant Director, General Education Unit