NYQS Meeting, 13 January 2008

On Sunday afternoon and evening 13 January 2008 the Society held a meeting at the home of Bo Lawergren.

Members attending were:

Chang Pei-you
Stephen Dydo (with proxy votes on behalf of Rebecca Flannery, Peter Reis and Elaine Sheng)
Matthew Flannery
Bo Lawergren (with proxy vote on behalf of Alan Berkowitz)
John Thompson
Yip Ming-Mei

There was one guest:
Tomoko Sugawara

Order of Business

This meeting was held primarily to determine the program for the annual meeting, scheduled for Sunday February 10 at the Greenwich House Music School. However, the timing of the meeting coincided with the issues of dues for 2008 and the election of new officers. However, the first item to be discussed was new membership. For this Ms. Sugawara was asked to leave for a few minutes.

Stephen Dydo proposed Tomoko Sugawara as a new member. This was seconded by Matthew Flannery. A vote was held and Ms. Sugawara was accepted unanimously.

Regarding the election of officers, it was noted that all positions were due, or overdue, for election. It was questioned whether it would be better to have all elections take place at the same time, or be staggered. It was then suggested that thought be given to extending all terms for one year, but that the issue of staggering elections reconsidered at the next meeting. There was general agreement on extending terms of office for a year and to consider later the issue of staggering elections. Thus Society officers remain:

Stephen Dydo, President
Matthew Flannery, Treasurer
Chang Pei-you, Web master
John Thompson, Secretary
Marilyn Gleysteen-Wong, Corresponding Secretary

Matthew Flannery gave his Treasurer's report, stating that the current balance for the Society is $3,400 and growing. Thus, with membership dues due for 2008 there was discussion about how to handle this money. Should be used to finance programs, such a CD or guest speakers? Should dues for 2008 be postponed or reduced?

Regarding the publication of a CD with performances by members, Stephen said that the manufacturing cost for a CD would be about $1000. Another option to be considered is either to make recordings available by download through the New York Qin Society Website or through a commercial site such as iTunes. Another possibility to consider is print on demand, through a company such as Lulu. Details about Lulu are available on their website:


Since an increasing number of members have already either made their own recordings or have the equipment to do so, the need to hire a studio for this purpose was not discussed in any detail.

Another issue was whether to include recordings by non-qin playing members such as Rebecca Flannery and Tomoko Sugawara, either as soloists, or in duet with qin.

The other issue concerning recordings was whether and/or how Society concerts should be recorded.

It was agreed to discuss these issues again at a future meeting, when more members would be present.

Concerning the February 10 concert, it was pointed out that the program has been announced the the home page of the website as taking place Sunday, February 10, 2008, at 5:00 pm. Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street, NYC. However, the program had not been decided upon. It was urgent that such an announcement soon be made.

One program being considered was early guqin music. There could be a problem with this because John Thompson would probably not be there, and Marilyn Gleysteen-Wong would arrive from Hawaii just before the meeting, and so would not have time to prepare properly.

With regard to this, John Thompson announced that from 3 to 17 February he would probably be in Estonia and Sweden. In Estonia he and the group Fa Schola have scheduled performances of their program Music from the Time of Marco Polo, timed for the Chinese New Year (which begins Thursday, February 7). The group has been invited to perform in Beijing this May, and they plan to make a CD of the program during the time in Estonia. On the way back to New York John will stop in Stockholm to meet a concert organization regarding future events, do several lecture demonstrations, and visit the clavichord collection at two Museums.

The other program being considered was broader, focusing mostly on new music, and it was decided that this should be the theme for the event. The main ideas are:

- Stephen Dydo's newly written pieces based on ancient sources.
- Jung-ping Yuan playing his guqin music with 12th century lyrics by Jiang Kui
- New pieces for qin and konghou performed by Mingmei Yip and Tomoko Sugawara
- traditional guqin pieces performed by Peiyou Chang.
- A piano-calligraphy duet by Takeshi Asai (piano) and Suiho Yajima (calligraphy)

There was then some discussion of the mechanics of the event, but no decision was made about what food to have, or how it would be provided.


After the business part of the meeting ended, Matthew talked a bit about the calligraphy of his teacher Leon Chang

John Thompson (me) then played my reconstruction of Cai Zhen You, which I translate as Selecting Reality. I discuss the melody, which survives only in Xilutang Qintong (1549), on my website at http://www.silkqin.com/02qnpu/16xltq/xl064czy.htm

I also played Mozi Bei Ge (Mozi Sings with Emotion) from Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (1611). I discuss this at http://www.silkqin.com/02qnpu/32zczz/mozibei.htm. I mentioned that some people have likened aspects of Mozi's philosophy ("universal love") to Christian ideas, and discussed the apparent coincidence of this melody's appearance at the time the Jesuit Matteo Ricci was in China. Ricci brought with him a clavichord, and I have been doing an arrangement of this melody for clavichord.

The meeting ended at about 7 PM with thanks to Bo for his hospitality.

John Thompson

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