Mr. Song Renjie Talks about His Qin Making


Zhong Dao Tang 中道堂, upstate NY

Date: Nov 20, 2011 Time: 11am - 6pm



Peiyou Chang
Yuni Han

Nan Nan
Zhiyu Liu
Andrew Franck
Stephen Bourne
Sam Zhang



The Nov. 20th Guqin Yaji was really pleasant. Everyone came from at least two hours away and gathered at Zhong Dao Tang which really make it very special. While girls were preparing food, Sam Zhang and Mr. Song Renjie were practicing Chen style taiji outside. (Mr. Song has been practicing Chen style taiji for one year and one month so far. He learned from Master Chen Zheng Lai 陳正雷 and Sam Zhang.)


We had nice lunch at Yuni's dining room: dumplings, noodles, salad, Korean rice, Japanese miso soup. Andrew Franck and Nan Nan bought patai noodles, tofu salad, apple pie, wines, etc. After lunch we moved to Zhong Dao Tang to have tea and a very easy going guqin yaji.


Mr. Song, a self-taught qin player and maker ( ), talked about his qin making story and showed his two qins. Please see the attached videos for his talk. Sam saw that Yuni has many different kongfu tools such as the Guan knife and sword, so he was playing with them, and some of us were following his movement while he was doing the sword.


For Qin playing -- Zhi-yu Liu 劉之育 played Chang Men Yuan 長門怨 and Qiu Feng Ci 秋風辭 with singing. Sam played Guan Shan Yue 關山月, and Shi Shan Liu Quan 石上流泉. Renjie played Liang Xiao Yin of Pu Xue Zhai's style 溥雪齋版本的良宵引. I played Sheng Ren Chang 神人暢 and talked about my interpretation of this qin piece with Qu-yuan's poem "Mountain Ghost" 屈原的山鬼. Before that, I played Mei Hua San Nong 梅花三弄 on Renjie's unfinished Knee Qin 膝琴 (or lap top qin) which is shorter than regular qin and this qin has very nice deep sound. When I played it, I could feel that it is a qin full of energy and purity. The purity is not the mechanical sound quality, as it is an unfisnihed qin, the surface and the yueshan (bridge) still need some refinement. What the purity I mean is the qin makers' heart. I really enjoy playing it.


Guest Andrew Franck ( and is a very interesting person, according to his friend Nan Nan 楠楠, who is from Beijing and had been working in art field as a director of two art galleries in Asia and New York for last past 10 years. Nan said that for her, Andrew is like a 神人. He is not only a composer, artist, philosopher and author; he is also like a psychotherapist. Andrew likes the sound of Guqin and so even he had never touched qin before, in the yaji, after he saw our playing and talks, he just found himself quietly seating in one of the qin table and practice guqin while several of us were having our tea time. He was probably already composing a new piece in his mind at that moment.


Time always goes so fast and outside looked like 9pm dark but it was only 6pm. People had to head home for the new week in front of us. We know we will meet everyone again...


Videos: (Mr. Song Renjie talks about his qin making story Part 1) (Mr. Song Renjie's talks about his qin making story -- Part 2.) (Photos of 11/20/2011 guqin yaji with Peiyou's qin playing of Shen Ren Chang)


--Peiyou Chang













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