NYQS Meeting, January 30, 2005


On 30 January 2005 the following members of then New York Qin Society (NYQS) attended a Society meeting in the home of Bo Lawergren. After the business part of the meeting the group adjourned to the Grand Sichuan Restaurant for dinner, then most members went to the home of Yuan Jung-Ping to play and/or listen to the qin. Attending members were Yuan Jung-ping, Alan Berkowitz, Chang Pei-you, Stephen Dydo, Matthew Flannery, Bo Lawergren, Elaine Sheng, John Thompson, Elizabeth Markham, Rembrand Wolpert, Marilyn Wong-Gleysteen and Yip Mingmei. Attending as guests were Janet Leung and Sam Lee.


New Members

Elaine Sheng, who has been an associate member, was voted full member.



Treasurer's Report

The meeting began with a report by Society Treasurer Chang Pei-You. She said that during 2004 the NYQS received $455; adding this to the $674 already on hand meant that the currenty bank balance was $1129. This was expected to increase soon, as no members had yet paid their dues for 2005.


Alan Berkowitz announced a recent $500 grant from a non-profit organization in New York that sponsors artistic endeavors. However, 5there was some problem accepting the donation, as that society's by-laws required that the money be given to a non-profit organization, and the NYQS does not at present have this status.


Two solutions were discussed. One is making the NYQS into a non-profit organization. However, even though the Society does not make a profit, the legal issues around official non-profit status are rather complex. The other solution might be to use the money as payment to an official non-profit organization such as the China Institute, if it was necessary to hire one of their venues for a meeting.



Annual Meeting

There was then discussion of the NYQS Annual Meeting, considered a particularly urgent topic since there was no such meeting in 2004. A decision needed to be made concerning the dates, the venue, and there nature of the meeting: performance only, or lecture and performance (here called "conference").


Elaine Sheng reported on discussions she has had with the China Institute and the Asia Society.


At present, if the China Institute is to be used, it will probably be necessary to hire it through the management office. At present it was difficult to determine dates, and  it was not clear when a booking could or should be made for October.


There was also discussion of whether and what sort of publicity the China Institute could provide: announcement in their own publications, inclusion of a flyer in their mailings, announcement on their website, and so forth.


Elaine also said there might be a possibility of a semi-private event through the Asia Society. The Asia Society has a Young Patrons Guild that organizes and pays for events just for its own members. They might be interested in the NYQS doing something for one of their gatherings.


There was also discussion of the Greenwich House Music School. John agreed to make further contact with them.


After discussion of various factors, the general sense of the meeting seemed to be that mid to late October would probably be the best time. However, this was not officially decided. It was also decided that the meeting should last about two hours and be divided about half and half between lecture and performance.


The lectures would most likely be given by Bo Lauergren, Alan Berkowitz, Rembrandt Wolpert and Elizabeth Markham.


Bo would discuss his archeological research into some aspects of early string instruments in China. This would probably serve to introduce the meeting.


Alan is preparing a paper on qin play during the Six Dynasties and early Tang. His presentation would probably be along those lines.


Rembrandt suggested he present a paper on solo pipa melodies from the Togaku repertoire.


Elizabeth Markham suggested two possible topics. One was early solo zheng music that has been preserved together with the Japanese court music, but is quite apart from it. The other was gagaku melodies which had been adapted for qin; there are quite a few such melodies in the Edo period handbooks such as Toko Kinpu.


Marilyn discussed the possibility of an event in October at the Freer Museum in Washington.




The meeting then had further discussion about making a CD of music played by Society members. Various options were discussed: trying to do it in someone's home, hiring a studio, borrowing equipment, and so forth. John mentioned his experience of home recordings, referring people to the details on his website (at http:.//www.silkqin.com/01mywk/rcdtls.htm). His recordings were made in a largely soundproof room on Cheung Chau island, Hong Kong. His current home does not have such a room.



The discussion of publications began with considerations concerning the NYQS Journal and website. It was suggested that the website needed to be redesigned. This was considered particularly important, as it seems likely that this will replace the former Newsletters. There was also discussion of the possibility of issued Occasional Papers.


Discussion of the website focused on the member's section. Should there be an expanded members section. Should each member have his or her own page or directory? How much control should the NYQS have over what went into each member's section?


Bo showed two Chinese publications of particular interest. One, an archeological journal called Wenwu Tiandi, had recently had a special issue devoted to early string instruments in China. The other, the prestigious music journal Yinyue Yanjiu, had published a translated version of one of Bo's articles.


Jung-Ping announced that the National History Museum in Taiwan would publish soon his article on his research into You Lan.




Jung-Ping reported on his travel, performance and exhibitions in China. Inspired largely by his visit, there was  conference on You Lan in Suzhou attended by qin experts from several cities, including Dai Xiaolian from Shanghai and Jung-Ping's calligraphy was also exhibited, and received much praise and recognition.


In Beijing Jung-Ping had his exhibition and a performance the Huabao Zhai (same place John had performed last year).


Jung-Ping further reported that Wu Zhao was currently leading a project to record and document players from different schools of qin play. In connection with this Jung-Ping spent a day at a China Television studio doing a video recording of several melodies he had learned from Wu Zhaoji and from Sun Yuqin.


Jung-Ping said that he now had some students in mainland China and Taiwan, and would be going back regularly.


He will also be playing in Princeton on March 26th in conjunction with a conference there. This is being organized by the composer Chen Meiqi.




Next Meeting

There was discussion of a possible meeting at the end of February. Matthew has a sister who is a professional concert harpist. She plays many different types of harp, some of which might be able to be played together with qin. There has been some discussion of her doing a joint event with Jung-Ping, and a decision was made to the explore the possibility of having such an event as part of a NYQS meeting the last weekend in February.

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