NYQS NJ Yaji - From Tang to Tomorrow

New York Qin Society Meeting—June 19, 2010

The meeting was held at Peiyou Chang and Stephen Bourne’s house in Rahway, NJ.

Present were:

Stephen Dydo
Matthew Flannery
Ming-Ru Song
Bo Lawergren
Tomoko Sugawara
John Zheng
Ming Zhou
Jason Ginsberg
Ralph Knag
Pen Knag
Pamela Yap
Mingmei Yip
Judy (Shihhua) Yeh
Weijun Wang
Julius Ching
Peiyou Chang
Stephen Bourne

Jason began the meeting with a piece for bagpipes, “Salute on the Birth of Rory Mor Macleod (Failte Ruairidh Mhoir). This was composed in 1715 by Patrick Mor MacCrimmon.

Peiyou led a group in a performance of “River Water” (河水樂, He Shui Yue),a piece from the ancient Japanese Togaku repertory (for detail introduction of this piece please see from the video explination). The performers included Peiyou on qin, Shihhua on zheng, and Ralph on xiao. This has been transcribed by Laurence Picken in “Music from the Tang Court”. There was a discussion on several aspects of the performance.

Shihhua played a piece for solo zheng, “LiuYang River” (瀏陽河 , Liu Yang He), based on a well-known folk song.

Peiyou played 碣石調幽蘭 “Jieshi diao You Lan” (Solitary Orchid in jieshi mode), the oldest qin piece known to us. She then played her own transcription of “Wang Zhaojun’s Lament” (王昭君, Wang Zhaojun), based on a piece written by Stephen Dydo for Tomoko to play on the konghou, or ancient harp. Stephen’s piece in turn was based on an ancient piece for wuxian, or 5-string pipa. The pipa piece was transcribed from a Tang-era pipa manual by former NYQS member Rembrandt Wolpert.

Mingmei played a set of three qin pieces. The first was “Confucius Reads the Book of Changes” (孔子讀易, Kongzi Du Yi). This was based on a version notated by Zeng Chengwei. She then played her own version of “Flowing Waters” (流水, Liu Shui). Finally, she played and sang her own song, “Joyful Encounters” (鹊橋仙, Que Qiao Xian), which was actually rather sad.

Shihhua then performed on qin. She played a version of “Moon over Guanshan” (Guanshan Yue 關山月) which is associated with the Meian qin society.

Finally Stephen played his own version of “Kongzi Du Yi”, which had been taught to him by Zeng Chengwei. He followed that with a performance of his own piece for electric qin and computer sounds, “riverrrun”. This piece used only two short Tang melodies for all its sources, Qin River Birds (沁河鳥) and 河水“He Shui” (River Waters).

Recording of the ensumble of "River Water"

Recording of the Qin solo of "River Water"

Photos of the Yaji (Photographer: Zhou Ming)

Copyright © 2002-2010 New York Qin Society. All rights reserved.