Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A tranquil night at Trinity Memorial Church

Trinity Memorial Church
44 Main street. Binghamton, NY 13905
in the Common Room

December 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm


Misty Clouds Over The Xiao and Xiang River 瀟湘水雲
12 min
Composer: Guo Chu-wang
Composing period: around 1260-1274
Brief Note: This piece presents a combination of the image of flowing water, blowing wind, drifting boats and a lofy atmosphere.

Seeking the Truth 採真游
9 min
Composer: unknown
Composing period: 16th century
Brief Note: This piece is more abstract to me. Playing this piece, I like to have some of the Doaist philosophy in my mind, such as keeping a free mood, letting nature take me to where it will be.

Three Variations on the Plum Blossom 梅花三弄
6 min
Composer: unknown
Composing period: 17th century
Brief Note: It is so called, because the one melody is repeated in three different variations of harmonics in three different positions on the instrument. Playing this piece, I keep the spirits of plum blossom in mind that it can withstand harsh winters and still bloom and dance in the wind.

It was a successful event. The room was cozy and homey. Playing the qin here, I felt a very comfortable, warm and peaceful energy around me. There were about 20 people came. 30 minutes music and 30 minutes interact with audience. They are really lovely small group of audience. The questions they had asked were very good and interesting, including music quality, composition, philosophy, qin construction, improvisation, solitary quality, etc...

I had chosen some photos to accompany with my playing. For the first piece, I used the "Xiao Xiang Eight Scenery" by Yuan dynasty Zhang Yuan 瀟湘八景圖, 元 張遠. The 2nd piece, I used the Cai Zhen Yo tablature from Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong (Ming dynasty qin handbook). 西麓堂琴統採真游 指法譜, so the audience can see how guqin music is written. The final piece I used the plumb blossom photos I took in Kyoto, Japan. It really helped the presentation, and audience also praised on that.

It was my honer to present the guqin music and culture at the Binghamton Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church to local folks. Many thanks to the church and to my family.

昨天十二月的第一個星期五, 我在Binghamton Trinity Memorial Church 演奏古琴給當地的教友聽. 教堂有一個房間叫common room, 是很適合小型聚會的房間. 教堂安排我在這個房間演奏古琴, 希望能有一種更intimacy 的 feeling. 能讓聽眾更接近古琴. 而事實真的是感覺非常棒, 很溫馨, 寧靜祥和的感覺. 我在彈琴的時候有感受到那股舒服的能量. 使我的演奏非常平順.

演奏三首琴曲, 約三十分鐘的音樂. 還用一些照片播放在身後的電視螢幕上, 讓聽者更能融入琴曲, 也讓聽者了解古琴譜的樣子. 演奏完以後, 觀眾們問題一個接一個, 他們都提出非常有意思的問題, 有說到關於琴曲對他們聽到後所得到的感覺, 有問到能否視譜演奏,還是一定要背下來,如果每一次演奏同一首曲目是否會有不一樣的詮釋, 還有很多問題關於琴曲的創作, 結構, 考古研究, 古琴音樂"獨"的特性, 演奏環境, 等等... 真的讓我感到非常高興.

很感謝教堂給我這個機會推廣古琴, 也很謝謝我的家人一直以來給予我的支持與鼓勵.

Dec 3, 2016.

備註: 三位一體紀念教會是一個有歷史的主教堂, 位於紐約上州的賓漢頓市中心。 它在1897年完成, 是一個維多利亞女王時代的高的哥德式建築節構, 用青石以及石灰石建構而成。 前正面設有一個大方形突出的塔與一個側入口和一個較小的輔助的後殿。 此外正面是一個大的哥德式拱形窗口與幾何窗飾和彩色玻璃。1998年登入為美國國家歷史名勝。,_New_York)

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

紐約琴社古琴雅集- 普庵咒考

Bill and John

Louisa, Yves and Ralph

Stephen and two guests.

Mr. Bill Mak 麥文彪

Stephen Dydo starting with a qin playing of a short section of Pu'an Zho

法國人 Francois Picard 對普庵咒的研究




有人們認為念誦普庵咒能驅邪保平安. 可普庵咒實際上是一首alphabetic song. 好似發音練習曲. 在中文版的[琴道] (即翻譯自Van Gulic - The Lore of the Chinese Lute) 第79頁的註中編者按: 普庵咒此曲是以琴音模擬普庵禪師誦唸密教咒語時的音韻, 並非配上以咒語寫成的歌詞.


太古正音 陽春堂琴譜 之釋談章


普庵咒 古琴曲 在不同琴譜有不同的名稱, 如: 釋談章, 悉曇真言或釋談真言. 釋談章神咒等等. 釋談即"悉曇"的轉音, 是梵語Siddham 的音譯.

回文Palindrome - 文字的排列不變, 但利用不同閱讀的方向性使其產生不同意義. 

Rambutan 紅毛丹
My first time tried this fruit which is similar to Lichi 龍眼/荔枝, very tasty.
This was brought by Yves from China town. 

Many thanks to Yves who took this photo of me. 
Otherwise I won't have a record of myself in the yaji.

Short clips of the qin playing during the yaji

On 6 November 2016 starting at 3 PM, New York Qin Society had a qin meeting in Weehawken NJ. The meeting included at presentation by Bill Mak. Bill, an Associate professor at Kyoto University, is currently a visiting research scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York University. Previously he studied Linguistics and Sanskrit at McGill University, then Buddhist Philology at Peking University.
Bill, an accomplished qin player with interesting insights on guqin aesthetics, has published research on Pu’an Zhou, and he gave a talk about this. He said before the yaji, “I can send out a version of the English paper which gives some general idea, but more specifically I can talk about the interesting philological details of the work which I described in my Japanese paper.”
Qin playing includes:
John Thompson - 色空訣(心經) /一葉知秋
Bill Mak - 良宵引
Stephen Dydo - 普庵咒
Peiyou Chang - 採真游
Mingmei Yip - 歸去來辭/ 梅花三弄

Attending NYQS members:

Bill Mak 麥文彪
Yves Seban
Louisa Lantu Zheng, her daughter and two other gentlemen, one is a violinist from Hangzhou 杭州. 
Fan Xiao and her friend

Bill has learned the guqin with Miss Chen Wen 陳雯 from Malaysia, Mr. Sou Sitai 蘇思棣 from Hong Kong, and Mr. Wu Wenguang 吳文光 from Beijing.

Yves is from France, currently living in NYC. He used worked at the fashion industry and now is an artist of photograph. He is very interested in Chinese tea and its related culture. 

Louisa is from Hong Kong and currently visiting NYC. She has learned the guqin with Mr. Hammond Yung 容克智, the 容門 Yung school lineage.  

Fan Xiao works at the UN and has learned the guqin with Miss Shihhua Yieh 葉時華. Her friend is a guitarist who has playing electric guitar with three different bands in Manhattan.  

Many thanks to Suzanne and John's hospitality of hosting this yaji. Suzanne and Louisa's daughter helped to cook delicious food for all of us. Yves also helped making tea several times for everyone. I myself was really feeling blessed to hear the interesting lecture and meet many interesting friends. 

Peiyouqin 木上絲 Quote some writing from [The Lore of The Chinese Lute] by Robert Van Gulik

... When some Indian priests came to China they also brought lute-like instruments with them, and Chinese scholars studied these foreign instruments in connection with the Chin
ese lute. We find, e.g., that Ou-yang Hsiu, famous poet and scholar of the Sung period , praised in a poem the performance of the monk Ho-pai on an Indian stringed instrument (probably the vina). (

當一些印度僧侶來到中國時, 它們帶來了類似古琴的樂器, 中國學者研究過這些外來樂器與中國古琴之間的關聯, 例如, 我們發現著名的宋代學者歐陽修曾作詩讚美僧人"知白" 的印度樂器表演 (也許是印度的七弦琴)

歐陽修 送琴僧知白

A curious result of this direct Buddhist influence is the fact that among the better known ch'in tunes there is one entitled Shih-t'an 'Buddhist Words', which is nothing but a Mantrayanic magic formula, a dharani. The music of this tune is decidedly Indian, vibratos and glissandos reproducing the frequent melismas used in Buddhist polyphonic chant in China and Japan up to this day. The words are also given, for the greater part in transcribed bastard Sanskirt, the usual language of dharani, and starting with the stereotyped opening formula 'Hail to the Buddha! Hail to the Law! Hail to the Community!

佛教對古琴音樂的直接影響產生了一個奇特的結果:在廣為流傳的琴曲之中, 有一首題名為[釋談], 這首曲子的內容完全是密宗的咒語 (dharani, 陀羅尼, 真言, 密咒, 真咒). 這首琴曲的曲調必定是源自印度, 他以顫音和滑奏來模仿中國與日本至今仍在使用的複調梵唱裡常有的裝飾音. 這首琴曲也有歌詞, 大部分是輾轉抄來的[偽梵文] (編按: [偽梵文]的意思是"用中文字音譯的梵文" 並非虛偽假造的梵文) 都是常見的咒語. 第一句就是固定的開場真言 [南無佛陀耶南無達摩耶南無僧迦耶]

Friday, October 07, 2016

初見碳纖琴 Meet the Carbon Fiber qin prototype

I had attend the New York Qin Society yaji on 2 Oct 2016, 2-6 pm at Yonkers, New York.

Guest Dr. Shuengit Natasha Chow, sino-Canadian, Interdisciplinary Artist, presented the world’s first carbon fiber guqin prototype. There were also qin performances by members.

Shuengit Chow: research-creation – carbon fiber guqin prototype / feedback exchange with qin players trying out the carbon fiber qin.

intermission for refreshments

Qin performance
Ralph Knag – Song of Pleasant Night 良宵引
Hongmei Zhang – Innocent Seagule 鷗鷺忘機
Peiyou Chang – Song of Chu 楚歌
Mingmei Yip- Song of Homeward Bound 歸去來辭Flowing water 流水
John Thompson – 一葉知秋(前五段) One leaf knowing the autumn, 梧葉舞秋風 Wu leaf dancing in the autumn wind
Stephen Dydo – Pu An’s Mantra普庵咒

前半場每一位琴人都試彈了碳纖古琴. 一致認為聲音很好聽, 柔和, 上的是鋼絲絃. 因為旋捷的碳纖琴是初嘗試. 仍有很多改進空間. 但據旋捷說這張琴將是獨一無二的. 下一張碳纖琴不會再用同樣的方式做, 但會結合所有的經驗繼續創作出更好的琴. 碳纖維很輕, 耐高低溫. 穩定. 已經不是甚麼新材質, 飛機, 羽球棒, 腳踏車, 相機腳架, 大提琴, 絃弓等等 都已在使用碳纖維. 古琴使用碳纖維製作絕對不是不可能, 並且也可以是非常好的使用材質之一.

New York Qin Society members had tried out the carbon fiber qin and all feel the sound quality is nice. Because this is Shuengit's first experience with using carbon fiber to make a qin, there is still room for improvement. But she thinks this is a unique one and will not using the same method to make her next carbon fiber qin. She will combine all her experience to make a even better carbon fiber qin in the future. Carbon fiber is very light in weight, can endure high or low temperature and has stability. It is not a new material now. Airplane, bicycle, camera tripod, cello, violin, violin bow,  etc., all have been using carbon fiber. Guqin made by carbon fiber is not impossible and can be one of the very good materials.

旋捷曾在北京學過一點斲琴, 也在台灣台南藝術大學座講師的兩年期間就地之便學了傳統斲琴. 她自己在做這張碳纖琴以前已經做過了兩床傳統古琴. 她說想做碳纖琴的原始理念是想要一個重量"輕" 聲音又好聽的琴.

Shuengit has learned some qin making technique in Beijing. While she was a professor at Taiwan Tainan National University of Art, she took the advantage of the time and location to learn qin making in the University.  She already made two traditional qin herself. The idea for her to make carbon fiber qin was that she wants a very light weight and nice sound quality qin.

旋捷從法國帶著琴到了加拿大, 又從加拿大來到紐約上州我家住了一晚, 後我們一起到新澤西我的舊家又住了四個晚. 期間我們為碳纖琴換過絲弦(清明加重絃)試音, 又換過一套新的尼龍鋼絲絃(太古), 最後還是換回旋捷最舊的一套尼龍鋼絲絃, 還是這套舊絃出音最好. 毫無鋼絲的金屬音, 聲音柔和溫婉. 我也跟我的WP琴,上的是MH絲弦比較了一下聲音, 碳纖琴出音比WP琴出的音稍微明顯一點, 我們笑說dpi 比較高. 一般彈傳統琴, 比如我的WP琴, 是可以感覺到聲音向下傳到地板, 但碳纖琴沒有這個感覺, 可出音絲毫也不感微弱或死板. 木頭做的琴其聲音會有一種清朗木質感, 碳纖做的琴則有一種溫婉皮質感. 因為旋捷還是有用傳統大漆上在碳纖表面, 所以漆對琴音的影響相信也是有幫助的.

Shuengit brought this carbon fiber qin from Paris to Canada and then to upstate New York my home for one night. Then we went to my old home in NJ and she stay in NJ for another 4 nights. We had tried different strings on the Carbon Fiber qin. We tried Qing Ming heavy silk string and a new set of metal nylon string (brand name Taigu) but find out that her oldest metal nylon string sound the best which had no metal harsh sound at all, but a nice gentle sound.  I had compared with my WP qin strung with MH silk string and the carbon fiber qin sounded a little clear and louder than the WP qin, and we were joking that the carbon fiber qin has a higher dpi. When I play traditional qin, for example my WP qin, I can feel the sound travel to the ground through the qin table. But I did not feel that from the carbon fiber qin. Yet, I did not feel the sound is too soft or no life. Wood qin has a clear bright wood sound quality, while carbon fiber qin has a soft gentle leather sound quality. Shuengit also used traditional raw lacquer, I believe that also helped the sound quality.

旋捷問我,覺得這幾個特性,碳纖琴有哪些?1//奇 2// 古 3//透 4// 靜 5// 潤 6// 圓 7// 清 8// 匀 9//芳, 我選擇4, 5, 6, and 8.

Shuengit asked me which qualities in the 9 virtues that I think the carbon fiber qin has: I picked #4, 5, 6 and 8. Please see my site for the explanation of The 9 virtues which distinguish the Qin quality 辨琴之九德

另外記得紅梅認為左手在七徽到十徽的走手音, 韻味特別好. John 認為聲音醇厚"mellow" was the word he used.

In addition, I remember Hongmei thinks that the left hand sliding sound between 7th dot to 10th dot sounds very charming. John thinks the sound quality is "mellow."


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Full Moon Festival Promoting Taichi and Guqin to Local Community

Saturday, September 17, 2016,  3:30pm to 5pm, at Jeffersonville Main Streen Events Stage, upstate NY, Peiyou joined with Yuni Han and Renjie Song to promote traditional Chinese culture to local community. We had demonstration of Chen Style Taichi 陳氏太極 and performance on the Guqin 古琴 with Xiao 蕭 (bamboo flute) to celebrate the full moon festival.

Our program includes:
1, Chen Style Taichi - Old Frame First Routine 陳氏太極老架一路 demonstrated by Renjie and Yuni with Peiyou's guqin playing of Seeking Truth 採真游. 
2, Interact with the audience with Renjie and Yuni's lead of Chen Style Taichi - silk reeling 陳氏太極纏絲功
3, Qin introduction and solo performance by Peiyou - Three Variation on the Plum Blossom 梅花三弄
4, Xiao introduction and solo performance by Renjie - Jasmine Flower 茉莉花
5, Qin solo by Peiyou - Wild Geese Descending on a Sandbank 平沙落雁
6, Qin and Xiao Duet by Peiyou and Renjie - Cold Mountain, Trace of Monk 寒山僧蹤

Many thanks to Yuni who invited me and Renjie to join this local community celebrating Chinese full moon festival event. It was a lovely day with lovely folks at this wonderful time. Jeffersonville NY is a little town where I had never been before. Wasn't sure if such quiet and meditated music would be appreciated or not by local folks who might had never hear it before. It came out very well and successful. 

At this event, I also introduced a little bit histories of the guqin, the full moon festival, and the story of eating moon cake at the day of full moon festival. Looking at the reaction from the audience, really made me glad and feel honored that I was there with them. 


我彈道家曲[採真游] 作為他們的背景音樂









This link has more photos from Jeffersonville photographer

If you cannot see from the factbook link, please see the link below

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Master Yuan 2016 CDT Concert

September 3rd, 2016, Master Yuan Jung-ping's CDT 中道堂 guqin concert organized by Yuni was very nice. CDT has very good acoustic effect for the silk string qin. 5 music pieces: 秋塞吟, 憶故人, 瀟湘水雲, 鬲溪梅令, 離騷. I like Master Yuan's Lisao very much. After the concert, Renjie and Yuni and Hongmei were practicing the Chen Style Taichi 老架一路. Yuni's yard has all kinds of melon ready to harvest.

中道堂位於紐約上州一個山上, 堂內極適合彈絲絃古琴. 自然的琴音在堂內那是餘音繞樑. 中道堂距離紐約市要2個多小時車程. 昨日袁老師的古琴演奏會來聽琴的大都是從2-3小時車程遠的地方來的, 最遠是從華盛頓的Marilyn女士, 她一早五點多就動身. 聽好琴是不論遠近. 有緣人才能共襄盛舉.
袁老師的創作自姜夔的[鬲溪梅令]以及花費四年時間打譜自西麓堂琴統之20 段的[離騷]是會後大家討論的熱烈話題. 袁老師也對泛音與按音調絃的理論做了解釋. 但古琴這深厚的學問, 豈是兩個小時就能涵蓋一二的. 那是窮盡一個人一生的心血氣力, 彈者有心, 聽者必須更是要有一定的音樂程度方能感受到個中的玄妙. 
聽眾當中一位美國女士, 她自己吹長笛, 她先生與兒子都玩爵士音樂, 當她聽到來賓發問與袁老師的回答, 她很訝異所問與所答都是非常深入的問題.

CDT (Chung Dao Tang) is located in a mountain area at upstate NY. Its room is very suitable for playing the silk string guqin. Nature qin sound can be heard easily and lingering. CDT is about 2 hours driving distance from NYC. Most of the audience come to listen Master Yuan's qin concert yesterday at CDT were from 2-3 hours driving distance.  The farest was from Washington DC, she left her house  started from 5am.  Listen good guqin music, no matter how far, only those who are fortunate enough can sit together in a concert hall.

[Li Xi Mei Ling] from Song Dynasty poet Jiang Kui's lyrics and melody but qin composed by Master Yuan and the [Lisao] which Master Yuan spent 4 years deep study from XLTQT, total 20 sections, are the two pieces that was discussed the most at the Q & A after concert.  Master Yuan also explained the qin tuning theory of harmonics and pressing. Guqin has such deep knowledge and culture that there is never be able to talk fully in 2 hours. The player has to spent his or her whole life and energy to study and to be able to know deeper. Listener also need to have certain level of music knowledge to be able to understand the qin music. 

There is an American lady in the audience who plays western flute and her husband and son play Jazz music. She said that she was very impressed to hear the deep Q & A.