The New York Qin Society Presents Ancient Instruments, Modern Music
現代音古典樂 - 古琴.箜篌.書法.鋼琴

Program for the Concert
February 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm
Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School

良宵引 Liang Xiao Yin (Song of Pleasant Night)
采真游 Cai Zhen You (The Meandering of the Truth Harvester )
玉樓春曉 Yu Lou Chun Xiao (Jade Mansion Spring Dawn)
張培幼 Chang Peiyou,qin 古琴獨奏
Costume Design by Chang Peiyou

Archaic Phrase for Kugo   by Kikuko Masumoto
沁河鳥 Qinhe Niao (Qin River Birds) by Stephen Dydo
Movement II from “Haikugo” by Robert Lombardo
菅原朋子Tomoko Sugawara, konghou 箜篌獨奏

長亭怨慢 Chang Ting Yuan Man (Melancholy at the Long Pavilion ) (qin song )
袁中平 Yuan Jung-Ping, qin 古琴彈唱


老君子 Lao Junzi (Old Gentleman)
泣顏回 Qì Yán Hu (Tears for Yan Hui)
玉樓春曉 Yu Lou Chun Xiao (Jade Tower in Spring Morning)
戴德 Stephen Dydo, qin 古琴獨奏

鵲橋仙 Queqiao Xian (Immortal of the Magpie Bridge) (qin song)
Lyrics: Qin Guan (1049-1100) Music/translation: Mingmei Yip
相見歡 Xiangjian Huan (Joy of Union) (qin song)
Lyrics: Li Yu (937-978) Music: Mingmei Yip
葉明媚 Yip Mingmei, qin 古琴彈唱

Thunder in spring 春雷[shun-rai]
Sakura Sakura 桜さくら[sakura-sakura]
Felicity in the remain 残り物には福がある[nokori-mono-niwa-fuku-ga-aru]
淺井岳史 Takeshi Asai, piano 鋼琴
矢島翠萌 Suiho Yajima, calligraphy 書法


良宵引 Liang Xiao Yin was said to be composed by He Ruobi (543-607), a Sui Dynasty qin player. This piece was first published in Song-xian-guan qin notation book, edited by Yian Cheng from the Ming Dynasty and was published in 1614. This qin piece is a representative piece of the Yu Shan School (in Zhe-jian Province area) and “qing wei dan yuan” (clear, gentle, light and lofty) is the characteristic of Yu Shan school. It is a short qin piece, yet the structure is well-arranged and the melody is very elegant and peaceful.

采真游 Cai Zhen You: This title is taken from the book Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi (369-298 BCE ) is the Daoist philosopher. Cai Zhen You is a Daoist qin piece. If literally translating the title, it will be "the meandering of the truth harvester" or “seeking or picking the truth.” The composer is unknown. This piece was written before the Ming dynasty. According to the footnotes of Cai Zhen You from Xilutang Qintong (a qin notation book edited in 1549), this piece was not handed down for many generations. The person who found this piece and wrote these footnotes thought that this piece presents the image of an Immortal being who disdains the world.

My own interpretation of Cai Zhen You is more towards the major concepts of Daoism, such as: wuwei (effortless doing). Simple and pure as a child, as an uncarved piece of wood. Live naturally and free from desires. In today's chaotic world, I found this piece really lifts my spirits.

玉樓春曉 Yu Lou Chun Xiao is an early modern qin piece. It is also known as Chun Gui Yuan (Lament of Spring Boundoir). The composer is unknown. It was first shown in Mei An Qin notation book which was published in 1931, edited by Xu Zhuo . This piece is presenting a feeling of a lonely lady just waking up on a spring morning. Her eyes are not fully opened. Her face is flushed. Her mind is not awake and still immersed in the residual heat from the night before.
Peiyou Chang

In Archaic Phrase for Kugo the eminent Japanese composer Kikuko Masumoto uses several short melodic kernels taken from the string parts of Gagaku, a type of Japanese court music that emerged at the end of the first millennium CE and still is played today. Wind and percussion instruments dominate the court orchestra, but strings are few and they play only intermittently. Their phrases are short and quick, seemingly at odds with the slow and steady flow of tunes on the wind instruments. Ms. Masumoto focuses on the ancient phrases which, without their usual context of winds, shine in naked beauty. The piece receives its first New York performance by Ms. Sugawara, to whom the work was dedicated.
Bo Lawergren

Tomoko and Bo have produced two YouTube videos:
Music for the Qin Emperor (Qin Wang Pozhen Yue)
Ancient harp

沁河鸟 Qinhe Niao (Qin River Birds) is based on a dance from the Tang Dynasty Court, probably written in the 7th century but definitely performed in Japan in 752. Due to the extensive research of Laurence Picken, Elizabeth Markham and Rembrandt Wolpert, a transcription from ancient Japanese sources is available; this includes not only unambiguous pitches, meter and rhythm, it also reveals the ornamentation used by various instruments. In my piece, this information provides the basis for a reflection on the melodic material (which seems to include bird calls) and on how it could have been played by a konghou virtuoso of the day. The result is a contemporary homage to an ancient culture, dedicated to tonight’s virtuoso, Ms. Sugawara.
Stephen Dydo

In 2004 Robert Lombardo wrote a three-movement work, Haikugo, for Ms. Sugawara. The middle movement – played today – alternates between (broken) cords and two-part melodic lines, one for each hand. Repeatedly, one line starts and the other joins in a fugato-like manner.
Bo Lawergren

長亭怨慢 (Melancholy at the Long Pavilion)
A poem composed by Jiang Kui (1155-1221) in the Song Dynasty, Chang Ting Yuan Man is a sorrowful work about the remembrance of a departed loved one by a forsaken lover. As sang by Yu Xiao as she longed for the departed Wei Gao, who never fulfilled his promise of marriage, the song is poignant and poetic, with many beautiful imageries. The song was recreated for the qin by Yuan Jung-Ping in 2006.
--Eva Wen

鵲橋仙 Queqiao Xian (Immortal of the Magpie Bridge)
Lyrics: Qin Guan (1049-1100)
Music/translation: Mingmei Yip

This is the Song dynasty (960-1276) poet Qin Guan’s most famous love song. It expresses the pain and suffering of two separated lovers.

Delicate clouds scamper above on the seventh evening of the seventh month
Falling stars carry my bitterness,
Secretly traversing the remote Milky Way.
Meeting but once amidst the autumn wind and the dews drops
Surpasses endless encounters on earth.

Love is tender as water
Our wedding day is a distant dream
Dejected, I watch the magpies return.

If love between two people is to last,
Must they see each other day and night?
If love between two people is to last,
Must they see each other day and night?

相見歡 Xiangjian Huan (Joy of Union)
Lyrics: Li Yu (937-978)
Music: Mingmei Yip
Translation: Unknown Scholar

The flowered woods have dropped their springtime rose festoon,
So soon, so soon.
But night blowing winds and the cold dawn rain were bound to be.
Your rouge-stained tears will keep me drinking here beside you
And then—who knows when again?
Our lives are sad like rivers turning always toward the sea.
--Mingmei Yip

玉樓春曉 Jade Tower in Spring Morning (first appearance, 1931) and 泣顏回 Tears for Yan Hui (first appearance, 1937) are both quite modern, by the standards of the repertory; they are also quite short. Jade Tower in Spring Morning is a depiction of the beginning of a spring day, coming out of a dream-like state and lazily stretching. Tears for Yan Hui refers to Confucius’ feelings on the death of his favorite disciple.

老君子 Old Gentleman is considerably older; in fact, it is, with Qin River Birds, the oldest piece on tonight’s program. It was transcribed initially by a team of ethnomusicologists working under the direction of Laurence Picken, and was part of a huge treasure trove revealed by these dedicated individuals. The melody I created in my own transcription was extensively ornamented using cues from the four instrumental parts (for pipa and zheng) that were used in the transcription. The piece was written for John Thompson on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
Stephen Dydo

春雷 Thunder in spring, 桜さくらSakura Sakura, and残り物には福がある Felicity in the remain represent a unique art form. Takeshi Asai (piano) and Suiho Yajima (calligraphy) have collaborated for many years. There goals have included not only a synthesis of the elements of music and calligraphy in a single performance, but also the combination of traditional Japanese disciplines with modern elements. They perform together with the band WaFoo.
Stephen Dydo

Happy New Year!

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