Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Qin, Shakuhachi and Tea

七絃古琴在中國已有三千年以上的歷史, 自古就被列为中國十大修煉之首, 是古代文人修身養性不可或缺的樂器。古琴的三种音色,其泛音飄逸如天籟, 散音宏大渾厚, 按音細膩圓潤。彈琴與聽琴者, 都需心静气沉, 心靜則指下出清音,氣沉方得心之韵律。

尺八, 以竹根制作,中通無底 , 因一般吹奏的尺八其竹身長一尺八吋, 而名為尺八。尺八最早出现在隋唐的宮廷雅樂,於1300多年前東傳至日本。其音色蒼涼遼闊, 空靈恬靜, 也是修身養性的樂器之一。 

茶文化成於中國的唐朝, 所謂”不可一日無此君,” 乃道出茶早已成為中國人的國飲。煮茶與品茶,都要用心關照煮水的聲響,聞茶葉的芬香,品茶湯的清和, 是一種修身養性, 亦是中國人的十大修煉之一。古來琴茶為伴,品茶聽琴,兩種禪意,自然相融。一杯香茗,一曲清音,使身心靈舒暢。

Guqin, the seven string zither, also called the qin,  has existed in Chinese culture for 3000 years. Since ancient times, the qin has been listed as the first rank of the Chinese top ten cultivation practices. The qin became the favorite instrument of the literati class for meditation. There are three types of sound of the qin: the elegant harmonics sound as the sound from heaven; the immense and profound sound of the open string; and the exquisite and mellow sound of pressing. Both the player and listener will have to play and to listen with a calm mind and peaceful energy, so the fingers of the player will create pure sound while the heart of the listener will feel the rhythm and subtitle nuances. 

Shakuhachi is a bamboo flute, made from a bamboo root without opening end. It is named for its regular length of the flute which is about 1.8 feet long. Shakuhachi originally came from the Tang dynasty court music of China, and was introduced from China into Japan in the 7th century. Its sound is lofty, ethereal and meditative.

Chinese tea culture was established in the Tang dynasty. There was a saying : "one cannot live without this mister for a day" which pointed out that tea has become the national drink of China. While making tea and drinking tea, the tea master wants to fully concentrate to distinguish the timing of the boiling water, to smell the fragrance from the tea leaf, and to taste the pure and smooth flavor of the tea. That is why tea is also one of the top ten cultivation practices of the Chinese. 

There is a long history that playing qin and drinking tea accompany each other well, as they both share the same meditative idea naturally.  

Thanks to Hongmei inviting me and Glenn to this event on Sunday 16 June 2019 in Edison New Jersey. The qin had an opportunity to reunite with the shakuhachi after so many years.

演奏曲目 Performing pieces

According to Glenn, Kyorei could be the oldest piece of Shakuhachi.  Peiyou arranged the guqin part for the duet. 

Qin solo piece

Shakuhachi solo piece

The 2nd duet piece.

照片 Photos

Tuning 調音

Art Director: Hongmei 

The setting of slides for the music 

主持人 The host

主辦人 Mr. John Suduer

Peiyou plays the Qin Solo piece Shi Shang Liu Quan 石上流泉.

Shakuhachi Master Mr. Glenn Shouyuu Swann plays Kakumon 鶴門.

with the organizers  

I only had a chance to drink a cup of tea at the day. Luckily, I was really pleasant with that cup of Puer tea from Yunnan province China. No wonder they won the award. 

幸運的是當天僅有一次機會喝到一杯瀾滄的普洱茶, 茶香甘恬毫無苦味, 也不會讓我產生心悸, 胃也感覺很舒服, 我喜歡. 

6/25/2019 Report from World Journal
The report has a mistake on the name of the qin as zheng.

6/21/2019 Report from 僑報, The China Press 

Monday, June 03, 2019

The 4th International On-line Guqin Yaji

Time: Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, 
2:00 - 4:00 pm USA Chicago Time
3:00 - 5:00 pm USA Eastern time
4:00 - 6:00 pm Brazilian Time
9:00 - 11:00 pm Austria, Belgium and Germany Time

Jo Matthies from Germany
Sebastian from Austria  
Xiaojie from Chicago
Victor and Andre from Brazil
Ralph from New Jersey, the US
Peiyou from New York, the US

Qin Playing

Jo - Xian Ong Cao (Melody of The Immortal) 仙翁操 ( Standard Of The Guqin 4th Edition)
Sebastian - Wild Geese Landing On A Sandy Shore 平沙落雁 (Wu Zhao-ji's version) 
Xiaojie - Wenjun Cao (Melody of Wenjun) 文君操 (1539)
Peiyou - Innocent Seagulls 鷗鷺忘機 (1721)
Victor - Shen Ren Chang (The Song of King Yao) 神人暢 
Andre - Parting at Yang Guan Gate 陽關三疊 (Guan Ping-hu's notation)
Ralph - Deer Call 鹿鳴 (1618)

Qin talk:

Jo  -  The making of his own qin. (20 min including Q&A)
Victor -  Discussion on how different table materials affects the qin's sound as well as how to properly microphone the Guqin. (20 min including Q&A)

Yaji Clips

Jo Plays Xian Ong Cao on the qin he made

We found that when listening to someone's playing, if all the listeners mute their mic, everyone can hear the qin sound better without hearing any noise from our surroundings.   

I have recorded the whole meeting with Skype. I will add more clips when I have more free time.

The 4th International On-line guqin yaji is so far the longest one. It took 2 and a half hours and we still have a lot to chat about. We will continue the great conversation at the next one. Thank you all for your participation. The next yaji will probably be on Sunday September the 8th.