Tributes for Lyndon Stephens have poured in since news of the death of the visionary founder of Quiet Arch and Champion Sound Music broke on 10 January.
Goodbye Quiet Arch
A statement shared on Facebook by his record label, Quiet Arch, confirms that the Northern Irish music titan passed away “after a long battle with illness”, adding,”Initially given six months to live in July 2017, Lyndon refused to accept his initial diagnosis and defeated insurmountable odds, all while running Northern Ireland’s most successful independent music enterprise.”
The news came on the same day as a ‘Goodbye Quiet Arch’ show, planned as a swan song for the label, which announced a hiatus last month. In their statement, the label said “As such, we would like to inform all that tonight’s show will continue as planned. We would ask that everyone planning on attending tonight’s show to continue to attend so that we may witness and celebrate Lyndon’s legacy properly.” Covering the gig for The Thin Air.net, Brian Coney praised Stephens’ vision, “A love of the impossible, a creed of close-knit community framed by the global stage, a core, the profoundly contagious foundation of goodwill, vision and doing. Lyndon Stephens was a doer. Tonight, he packed out the Empire Music Hall with people who couldn’t doubt that if they tried.”
Pioneer of the Digital Age
BBC Ultser’s Stuart Bailie penned a touching tribute to the Belfast mogul on the Across the Line Blog, noting his work in creating both Champion Sound Music and Quiet Arch, s well as praising his vision in working to establish a digital footprint for Northern Irish musicians. Bailie ended his obituary with this line, “It’s the greatest legacy. The back catalog, the humanity, the pushing away of our cultural cringe, the vast number of personal connections and that singular grace. Lyndon Stephens, you were extraordinary. Fly, on wings of speed.”
As news of his death broke, so did an outpouring of tributes on social media. Artists shared personal stories and memories of the man who gave so much of himself to the Northern Irish music industry.
‘Shame’ singer Ciaran Lavery tweeted an emotional farewell- “He was an incredible human being with a wonderful family and friend circle. I have an incredible amount of memories. I will miss my old friend so dearly, but in truth, I am truly blessed to have met Lyndon Stephens.”
Ryan Vail also tweeted “Lyndon passed away yesterday & tbh its been so so difficult to comprehend. I’m really grateful for the memories we shared together.
RIP Lyndon, thank u for changing my life….”
Paul Connolly (@pb_connolly) “Deeply saddened by the passing of Lyndon Stephens, the driving force behind @QuietArch, an architect of so much music here, a connector of so many people and above all a beautiful and caring person. My thoughts are with his family and his many friends. A titan and gentleman.”
Lyndon Stephens is survived by his wife Lisa and their children.