North American Guqin Association
NAGA JUNE 10, 2006
CHINESE CULTURAL HERITAGE DAY CELEBRATION REPORT
On Saturday June 10th NAGA celebrated the first ever Chinese Cultural Heritage Day with a multimedia program of presentations reflecting part of
Fittingly, the program began with a video of an interview with master qin player Li Xiangting which also provided biographical details and comments about the qin's emergence from obscurity during master Li's lifetime. Although many factors are responsible for this, there is no doubt that Li Xiangting's personal efforts have greatly contributed to the qin's resurgence. Professor Wang Yongan gave a talk on the significance of Chinese Cultural Heritage Day and described some of what is happening in
Wang Fei talked about the significance of why NAGA promotes Chinese culture and guqin music in the
※During my many years in the West I have come to believe profoundly that while a country's strength can be measured in terms of its economic development, culture nevertheless plays an extremely important role. Because music is a common language all over the world, and the guqin is so very important in Chinese culture, the guqin is a very good starting point for raising the awareness of Chinese culture abroad. Naturally, Chinese people in the
She then gave an inspiring talk about the 10 acknowledged classical Chinese music pieces. This list includes at least six (some would say 8) guqin pieces and includes Ping Sha Luo Yan (Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank) and Meihua San Nong (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme). A video of a qin xiao duet by Wang Fei and Li Xiangting was shown. Wang Fei performed solos of Liu Shui (Flowing Water) and Guangling San (Guangling Melody) and sang while playing the qin song Hujia Shiba Pai (Eighteen Stanzas on the Nomad Reedpipe), etc. Liu Shui is considered the most famous Chinese classical composition. Guangling San is considered the king of all qin pieces. Just watching the fingering techniques displayed for this piece could make one dizzy. Wang Fei talked about the stories behind these pieces, giving the audience a better understanding of qin music. During the program Wang Fei played guqin pieces and improvisations while singing qin songs and reciting Chinese poems. Fred read several of these poems in English. The afternoon also included ensemble performances by Kwan, Wenyu, Fred, and Monique on gugin, with Monique also alternating on zhonghu and sanxian. Kwan, Wenyu and Monique sang during some of the pieces. Kwan also gave a memorable solo performance of Feng Qiu Huang. Please see the complete program listing below.
Wang Fei narrated for an extensive and exquisite slide presentation of art masterpieces depicting or related to the guqin. Prints of these pieces were hung on the meeting room walls for all to inspect. The qin has appeared in so many paintings and poems throughout the centuries that proof of its place in Chinese culture is well preserved through these mediums. Please see a list of qin-related art work below.
Dr. Kai Wei, a famous Chinese medicine doctor, gave an informative talk on ancient Chinese characters and brought his own excellent wood carvings of characters to elucidate his presentation. He also spoke about his acupuncture practice, relating some of the amazing results achieved for his patients. The audience was quite intrigued. The program closed with another flawless taiji performance by June Lou, an award winning Taiji player, who performed both a yang style form and a sword form. For the full program listing, Please see the complete program listing below.
The enthusiasm with which this program was received could be gauged by some of the post program comments.
The following comment from Dennis, a southern California ESL teacher reflects the purpose behind NAGA's efforts to make this day special: ※The (NAGA) Cultural Heritage Day event sounds very interesting. I think it is wonderful that you are educating people in your culture. I have a student in our school who came here recently from
※I was really impressed with the variety and quality of the presentations yesterday. I think it was one of the most rewarding yajis I have attended. I feel really proud to be a part of this group. It is really inspiring to meet people who are so dedicated to the qin. It really motivates me to be a better qin player.§ 每 Kwan.
※It is wonderful to be able to learn more about the historical background of the qin repertoire as well as Chinese poetry and the people who have written the works, but I also appreciate the yajis more when there are new programs. Although we always have new faces at the yajis, there is a dedicated group who attend almost monthly.§ 每 Monique.
※Topics in different but related disciplines are always fascinating. The wood sculpted calligraphy was impressive, as was the doctor's description of acupuncture. A blending of music, medicine, philosophy, taiji ... may reveal to us and to the world some of the most fascinating discoveries yet to be unearthed (but of course we will not get there overnight).§ 每 Wenyu
※Programs such as this give an American audience a hint of a new way of ※feeling§ the world. The art of the guqin, poetry, painting, and taiji are all experiential modes that the Chinese have developed over centuries. One could say that the product of these arts is not notes, or words, or a canvas, but a new self. The East has much to teach the West.§ 每 Fred
In closing, here is another fitting comment from an audience member Kristine: ※This is really such a great event!!! I enjoyed each moment in the program. The guqin music, the stories behind the music, the poems, paintings, the wood sculpted calligraphy, jokes... I salute your spirit and hard work spreading Chinese culture. I'm proud to be Chinese.§
6. 琴歌. 李白《子夜吴歌》三个古琴与中胡,用中英文演唱
7. 古琴即兴与中英文诗朗诵. 李白《听蜀僧浚弹琴》
8. 英文朗诵与中文琴歌吟唱. 蔡文姬《胡笳十八拍》
12. 独奏《凤求凰》(The Phoenix Woos His Mate)及讲解卓文君与司马相如的爱情故事.
3. 元 王振鹏 伯牙鼓琴图
伯牙鼓琴图 (局部 )
4. 唐 抚琴图铜镜
6. 东晋 顾恺之 斫琴图
8. 金 张禹 文姬归汉图
9. 明 陈居中 文姬归汉图(局部)
Wenji Returning to Han
11. 北齐佚名 北齐校书图
13. 五代周文矩 宫中图
14. 明 杜堇 宫中图
Painting on silk, Shanghai Museum Collection
15. 宫中图 (局部 )
Ladies of the Court 每 detail
16. 北宋徽宗赵佶 听琴图
18. 南宋 夏圭 临流抚琴图
19. 明末清初 陈洪绶 学琴图
20. 南宋 刘松年 听琴图
21. 明丁云鹏 山水
22. 明末清初萧云从 山水
23. 元王蒙 静室听音图
24. 明宣德《琴棋书画》罐《 弹琴图》
25. 海北友雪 源氏物语的音乐会
26. Wine and Tea -
27. 现代张隆延 书黄庭坚局
28. 中江藤树 抱琴
29. 松本工刘 石影
Thanks go to Wenyu for assembling the artwork Powerpoint presentation and display, and translating during the program, to Wenyu and Christopher Evans for translations of this text, and to Michael Cohen for photos and videos taken.
Reporter: Fred Pohlmann
Editor : Julian Joseph
North American Guqin Association