Sunday, November 08, 2015

Guqin Concert in NYC 11/7/2015 and Yaji next day in NJ

New York Qin Society
Master Jung-Ping Yuan
and members
Celebrating 15th Anniversary of NYQS
Date & Time: Saturday November 7, 2015, 6 - 8 pm (Please arrive 10-15 minutes early)
Location: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)123 4th Ave, 2nd FL (between 12th & 13th streets, above Think Coffee) New York, NY 10003
Admission: $20 (Tickets will be available at the door.)
For contact information and more details please visit
Concert Photos and program notes:
時間: 11/7/2015 周六下午六點到八點 (請提早十 ~ 十五分鐘入場)
地點: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) 紐約曼哈頓 4大道, 123 號 2 樓 (介於12 與 13 街, Think Coffee 的樓上)

11/8/2015 Yaji at Weehalken NJ:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meet Theresa from California

10/16/2015 meet Theresa Wong (黃天欣 ) from California. She reminds me of Jun Wang, a friend from SF, they looked alike. My mother's English name is also very similar to Theresa Wong, so I have special impression to this visiter. Theresa is a cellist, composer, vocalist, and Multi instrumentalist.  We talked about how I become interested in the Guqin. I explained a little bit of Qin tablature to her and played Xiao Xiang for her. She recognized this piece from my CD that I had recorded 9 years ago. 9 years ago I was playing metal string, but now I am playing silk string and I play xiao xiang differently now. 

She was touching the qin in front of her and talked a little bit about her partner's experimental music work which was making a room as an instrument itself. Theresa used the qin as a proportion example that people in that room is like very small things next to the guqin.  She said her partner uses very thin bronze and steel strings to create sound. Both strings have same thickness, but create two tones that is about 3 degrees difference, such as mi to do. 

Theresa used her right middle finger to pluck the string at the same time creating harmonics by using her right thumb touches the string. She likes the two tones sliding sound that happened while sliding. It is caused by one side of the string that is longer and the other side of the string is shorter from the pressing down point. I did not know what caused the two tones until today, although I always hear them while playing. 

We talked about improvisation, my composed pieces...

Time goes too fast, 2pm to 4pm just went by. I walked her to Rahway train station and we talked more about singing practicing. I hope I can learn singing soon. But I do not want to learn opera singing or pup music singing. I want to be able to really sing with my nature voice and with qin playing... 

(I am glad I still have things I want to do... learning qin making and learning singing.) 

Very nice to meet a new friend from different field but has similar interests ... music, and the guqin...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

10/1/2015 琴家雅集

John tried out MH, Suxin, and Tobaya silk strings

John and Shuengit checking out the silk string.

Cap of Qin Master, belongs to the qin master John Thompson.

We ordered Chinese food in and Jiawei came over after class to join us.

Stephen took this photo. It was really an unusual gathering. Because of Shuengit's trip from Paris to NJ to Toronto, and thanks to John couple drove her up to Binghamton NY, we all can have this wonderful chance to gathered together. 

Jiawei plays Pin Shua Luo Yian 平沙落雁. 

We had very nice chat and qin playing. I played Xiao Xiang 瀟湘水雲 from Wumen Qinpu吳門琴譜 earlier, then we chat about silk strings. Later John played Xiao Xiang as well from SQMP神奇秘譜. John also played Taitsu Yi 太簇意 and sing and played Feng Qiu Huang 鳳求凰. Jiawei also sing and played Yang Guan 陽關三疊. She caught a cold but her voice sounded more attractive to me. 

The next morning, Stephen and I accompanied with John and Suzanne to the nature preserve park in Binghamton University, we jog about an hour and saw the beautiful fall colors starting coming into our neck of woods.

Mid autumn full moon pleasant night 中秋月下良宵

Everyone wear Hanfu 著漢服



良宵引 Song of a Pleasant Night Qin Playing

關山月 Moon Over Guan Mountain Qin playing and singing


At the Recreation Park of Binghamton NY

主祭官唸禱詞 (Photographer Lenny Guo)

禱詞 (Calligraphy done by a friend of Jiawei)

主祭官上香 (Photographer Lenny Guo)

與會全體人員(Photographer Lenny Guo)

9/27/2015 I was invited to the Southern Tier New York Chinese Culture Club Mid Autumn Festival.
This club is established by Miss Jiawei Mao, and its organization and activity are brand new, very meaningful. I am grateful to be invited and learned something new. The whole moon ceremony went very smooth which is not so easy to get. Jiawei and friends really did a good job. Thanks.

早在周朝,帝王就有春分祭日、夏至祭地、秋分祭月、冬至祭天的習俗。 《禮記》中記載:“天子春朝日,秋夕月。朝日以朝,夕月以夕。”描述了中國古代帝王春天祭日、秋天祭月的禮制。

Moon ceremony can be found in ancient Chinese documents that as early as Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE), emperors worship to Sun in the spring time, to Earth in the summer time, to Moon in the autumn and to Heaven in the winter time.  

月屬陰 因此祭月均由女性執行 
Moon is "Yin" therefore the execution of the moon ceremony has to be done by female.

8/30/2015 qin yaji to remember Alan Berkowitz

Alan's 王鵬倣斷紋琴 and 張建華琴. Both strung with silk stings. 

Alan's qin made by 李明忠, strung with metal strings. 

People who attend this gathering were:
Host: John and Suzanne
Peiyou and Stephen From Vestal NY
Hongmei from NJ
Lucie and James from NJ
Juni from Toronto

We (John, me and Juni) all played Zhao Yin 招隱 (Seeking a Lofty Recluse) to pay our respect and memory to Alan. Three of us play the same piece but with three different personalities. John later played 梅稍月, Ming dynasty 秋風辭, 神奇秘譜流水. Peiyou also played 流水, (管平湖版), Juni played 孔子讀易 on Alan's metal string LMZ qin. 

Meeting after, we all walked to the river side to enjoy the view of Manhattan and Hudson River.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Late Summer at CDT 中道堂夏末雅集與射箭

found a quiet moment to practice before yaji started.

Guest Juni from Toronto played 流觴, 古風操 and 招隱 (on silk string)

Juni talked about her background and her PHD study -- modern history of Chinese Hanfu. So she and Jiawei did a little demonstration of Juni's hand made Hanfu. 

Jiawei from Binghamton, played 平沙落雁 (metal string), 流水(partial) demo on silk string and metal string to see how her finger strength on both strings. 普庵咒(silk string). After her playing Henry Chan, the archery instructor said his feeling -- and I like his opinion about the metal string and silk string sound to him. He made two kinds of hand gesture to explain, one is like many big circles coming out and back (silk string) and one is like many straight lines shooting out (metal string).

Yixuan from Ithaca played 神人暢 (silk string)

Peiyou played 列子御風 (silk string)
Thanks Henry took this photo.

Archery time.

Looks like many arrows hit the target.

This qin yaji was very special to me. Meeting different qin players and hearing their opinions or stories can be very encouraging and very inspiring. And after seeing Jiawei's qin playing, and we all feel that her finger strength is pretty strong. Therefore a question come out of my mind... 

指力可以練出來嗎?或是它是與生俱來的?是一種能練得出來的內勁還是必須如嬰兒至柔般的單純才存乎?是否當人們開始有了價值觀,有要求,有顧慮時這與生俱來的本能就自動消失了?然後彈琴就變成了一種刻意?Can the inner strength occur by practicing? or it only happen when one is "soft and pure" like a baby without thinking or worry or pretend to or trying to, then it comes out naturally? a question in my mind about qin playing fingering strength.

虛無至柔,則無所不通 -- 王弼 
天下之至柔,馳騁天下之至堅 -- 老子

Juni says: Having taught a dozen new people, I am convinced that playing the strings with the right strength is NOT innate, and must be nurtured.

 I think: Yes, how to play with right strength need to be taught but Jiawei is the person whose playing convinced me that she has the nature and so plus nurtured she will become even amazing. I will say people like her is rare, but there are some.

And Qin is like a mirror that the qin player's personality shows on it when playing it.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Memory of Alan Berkowitz, 憶琴友柏士隱

November 23rd, 2002
at China Institute of America, 125 East 65th street NYC
NYQS Annual Conference, Guqin Music: People, Poetry and Place.

“Qin Players of Yore and their Lore” 昔時琴人昔時義 (lecture)
Alan BERKOWITZ tells the poignant stories of emperors, real and legendary, scholar-officials, literati, poets, high-minded recluses, Confucians and Daoists, demonstrating how their tales helped to make the qin an aesthetic emblem of self-cultivation. Lore about these qin aficionados of early and medieval China highlights the literary and artistic landscape of traditional Chinese culture.
柏士隱先生告訴我們真實及傳說中 一些尖銳深刻的故事 包括皇帝 士大夫 文人 詩人 高人隱士及儒者道人 他們如何運用琴道的言行表現 來象徵自我的修養 這些古代和中古時期的琴癡們 在文學及藝術中表現的智慧 永遠閃耀在中國傳統文化之中 -- from NYQS website.

Alan and Mingmei
2004 Chinese New Year at Rahway NJ Peiyou and Stephen's house warming party.

September 18, 2009 at the NYQS yaji at Museum of Art and Origins.

John and Alan

June 8th 2014, at John and Suzanne's home in NJ

Happily Hooked on China

By Carol Brévart-Demm


從一開始跟袁老師學琴時就認識Alan 了(2000年), 他那時學平沙落雁, 有一回我們一起跟袁老師學氣功. 是因為我提早到了上課地點, 而Alan 還沒上完. 袁老師就讓我們一起在最後十幾分鐘的時間練一下簡單的氣功. 這是我記憶中最早的Alan. 

後來幾次都是在紐約琴社的雅集上見面, Alan 總是用很標準的中文跟我們說話, 溫文儒雅是一直以來對他的印象. 那時他的兒子還在唸小學. 琴會後大家一起在紐約中城的大四川用晚餐, 看他們父子情深很感溫馨. 

Alan 住費城, 因為住的離紐約市比較遠所以也無法參加每一次紐約琴社辦的雅集. 但2004年過年我們剛搬到Rahway NJ, 他還特別開兩個多小時車程參加我們的house warming party. 很讓我感動. 09年也特別與夫人參加了我與一位非洲藝術收藏家朋友在其家中辦的雅集. 還記得那天雅集結束後我跟Alan 說在Amazon買到了他的關於魏晉隱士研究的書 ( 他很自謙的說那書很難讀(他用dry這個形容詞). 我說才讀了序言, 覺得還懂. 他說早知就先把序言傳給我看我也不用花那麼多錢買一整本書來讀. 其實確實如他所言, 讀起來有點辛苦, 我後來還是選了其他中文的關於隱士的書先看, 想回過來再讀英文時應該會容易懂一點, 不料才在最近又把他的書拿出來讀的時候, 便聽到他在旅遊台北時往生的消息.

最後一次見Alan 是去年六月在John 唐世璋先生的家的雅集. 大家都很高興在久未見面之後, 見到他與他的夫人. 他看起來還是神采奕奕. 我們聊到他前幾年到台灣的一些事, 聊到他兒子已大學畢業,找到了工作. 怎麼也不會想到那竟然是最後一次見面話家常. 

雖然與Alan 的緣份就這麼幾次屈指可數, 可他散發出的人文氣質是讓人永難忘懷. As Bo says, he was truly a scholar and gentleman. 

Alan 享年六十五歲.

Just found this photo that has Alan with us, and this was taken in july 2002 The NYQS had a museum trip to DC. Freer Gallery.

中道雅集 Guqin, Qigong, Taiji & Tea

Guqin, Qigong, Taiji & Tea
Hoster: Yuni Han
July 11, 2015

中道雅集 kicked off with Meditation led by Linda Yuxia Qiu.

Guqin Play by:
 (First Half)

 - Micaeal Johnson: 古琴吟(Guqin Yin on metal string )
 - Honmei Zhang: 洞庭秋思(Dong Ting Qiu Si - Zha Fuxi dapu); 歸去來辭 (Gue Qu Lai Ci)
 - Yuni Han:憶故人 (YiGuRen)
 - Peiyou Chang: 招隠 (Zhao Yin) w/singing

 (Second Half)
 - Ralph Knag: 洞庭秋思(Dong Ting Qiu Si -from Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong)
 - Marilyn Wong: 古琴吟(Guqin Yin ); 畊莘釣渭(Gen Xin Diao Wei)
 - Peiyou chang: 春曉吟(Chun Xiao Yin)
    - Micaeal Johnson: 古琴吟(Guqin Yin on silk string )

We had a special guest, Ting Luo, who is the owner of Green Teahouse ( from New Haven, CT. She brewed wonderful tea from her shop.

Then, we had Swimming Dragon Qigong exercise led by Linda Yuxia Qiu followed by Michael leading Yang 24.

Then, Henry Chang's Archery lesson

And Korean barbecue dinner! 

Guqin, Qigong, Taiji Tea and Archery all together is a very healthy life style. We are very lucky to experiencing it. 

Courtesy to Yuni Han, Michael Johnson and Stephen Bourne for the photos and video.

Peiyou's little study about Zhao Yin