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."