“Ae Fond Kiss” by Ryan MacKenzie and Luca Manning is a song about having your heart broken and saying goodbye to someone you love. It is tragic and romantic poetry that captures the attention of listeners.
Collaborations have the potential to be either the worst thing to happen to music or something truly fantastic. The latter is undoubtedly true for Scotland’s best vocalists, Luca Manning and Ryan MacKenzie. These two, who are from Scotland but are based in London, share with the rest of the globe some of the best jazz and folk music in the world by drawing on their deep Scottish heritage.
Two of Scotland’s most promising young musicians, jazz vocalist Luca Manning and pianist/arranger Ryan MacKenzie, released a special new version of Robert Burns‘ timeless love song “Ae Fond Kiss” on December 28th, 2022, as part of their groundbreaking musical collaboration for Burns Night. The lovely partnership created the stunning song interpretation of the Burns classic “Ae Fond Kiss,” while also transporting the listener through some of the most exquisite soundscapes ever heard.
Ryan MacKenzie was inspired to create this modern arrangement because he and his fellow Scots musicians wanted to introduce Robert Burns’ most moving song to a wider audience. As a pianist, arranger, and music director for artists like Pixie Lott, Alan Cumming, and Christina Bianco, to name a few, I can truly understand how Ryan MacKenzie was able to develop some of the outstanding credentials he has.
The framing for the remainder of the tune starts with some soft, expressive piano and a soft drumbeat, with some lovely violins quickly introduced to us, evoking feelings of warmth and comfort in the listener while giving this tune a faint jazz vibe. The backdrop keeps expanding as the song goes on, becoming fuller and taking center stage. “Ae Fond Kiss” is extremely lovely to listen to because of the dreamy, drifting orchestral soundscapes with melodic undertones. But as we get to the singing, it’s clear that Luca Manning has a secret gift that deserves to be discovered by a lot more people. They have amazing voice control! The ability to maintain such a mesmerizing tone one that is quiet but clear, alluring but not overpowering really captures the audience’s attention.
The words of the original song “Ae Fond Kiss,” which talks about having your heart shattered and saying farewell to someone you love, are tragic and romantic poetry that grabs listeners’ attention. The new version still has a melancholy mood, but Ryan MacKenzie’s arrangements add a hint of blues to this mellow and private song, making the feelings represented here seem a little lighter. By doing so, he lessens the music’s melancholy and gives the melody a more subtle and elegant feel.
Luca Manning’s silky voice, which can hit lovely notes at any range lower and deeper, high or higher completes the intricacy of Ryan MacKenzie’s sound; he interprets the lyrics in a very nice way, all with an excellent tune. Personally, I would compare this artist to a modern-day Eva Cassidy because they have the power to command a room, waiting for each word to be spoken without shouting or screaming.
The National Library of Scotland is the owner of the letter. It makes sense that this is Robert Burns’ most popular love song. Ryan MacKenzie finds the poetry in the words and the ageless simplicity of the tune to be appealing, and he imagines that the fact that an arranger has so many resources at their disposal is what appeals to individuals. There has always been a natural attraction to Robert Burns. Luca Manning and Ryan MacKenzie are both well aware that there are a lot of other wonderful versions out there, but because the response from everyone who heard the song was so positive, they decided to make it available as a single. Along with the release, Ryan MacKenzie has created new piano arrangements of additional Robert Burns songs, such as “Brose and Butter” and “My Love Is Like a Red Rose.” Both of them believe that by using fresh, modern approaches, their initiatives will inspire more people to learn about Robert Burns.
In this new single, Luca Manning and Ryan MacKenzie took a song that already had excellent poetry and recreated it, giving the song a distinctive and personal face. They were able to deliver something entirely new that expresses each person’s individual talent. Everything about this release had us intrigued and hooked, and I really can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two. I do hope that they will work together again in the future.
For more information about Luca Manning and Ryan MacKenzie, click on the links below;