[NetBehaviour] guqin in dark times and memory

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Jun 19 03:12:45 CEST 2020

guqin in dark times and memory

http://www.alansondheim.org/qin.mp3 earphones or good speakers

i hadn't played qin since the end of february. we retrieved the
qin and other instruments from storage about a week ago. there
are two qin, the oldest from somewhere between 200-400 years ago,
more or less. stephen dydo refurbished it. earlier, candelario
delgado had worked on it. originally, i found it in a new england
antique mall where it was sold to me for seventeen dollars as a
'board.' stephen restored it and i played it and another qin, from
the 1908s, for several years. but with storage and such a long
break, i forget a great deal, and both qin needed tuning. so far
i've worked only on the old one. i played with a new approach, at
first somewhat tentative, having forgotten the positions. then i
thought about the condition of humanity now, although perhaps
always now, but surfacing and transforming, global warming, race,
virus, economic collapse, global warfare a real possibility. so
i started playing and let a different playing emerge, in respect
and sorrow, and then lost as well in the stunning sound of the
instrument, so much older than me of course, and what of the
stewardship that its sound and age entails. what emerged was the
qin, guqin, playing through me, making sure i didn't forget where
i was, my finger positions, the strings, my life. and for a moment
this romanticism, this world, emerged, and the strings, now tuned,
sang for me, and for you if you listen as well.

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