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]