[NetBehaviour] ~~wards, qin improvisation

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Thu Oct 15 02:46:13 CEST 2020

Qin slows you up by its very nature, I think. Even though I don't (and 
can't) play traditionally, it's hard to play fast on a 200-400 year old 
instrument... It's a different experience -

On Thu, 15 Oct 2020, Simon Mclennan via NetBehaviour wrote:

> Really meditative and great Alan. Enjoyed this.
> It?s a great contrast to your recent acoustic guitar improv pieces which move differently. 
> Simon
> Sent from my spyphone 
>> On 13 Oct 2020, at 15:23, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>> ~~wards, qin improvisation
>> http://www.alansondheim.org/wards.jpg qin
>> http://www.alansondheim.org/wards.mp3 sound
>> I hadn't played the quqin for several months; one has to come to
>> it, I think, at least for me, in the proper state of mind. This
>> is the older of my two instruments, some centuries old, unsigned,
>> originally designed for silk strings. I keep the metal strings
>> tuned low. I try I want (not I desire) to keep to its nature as
>> well. I love this improvisation. There's a slight ringing on one
>> of the harmonics due to the nature of the glass table I use for
>> the qin. The table was originally for packages and down in the
>> lobby of the building we live in. It was being thrown out, and
>> we had another rescue. It's the perfect length. We found an old
>> chair from around 1850 maybe that's the perfect height. Stephen
>> Dydo brought the qin to life. Originally, I asked the luthier
>> Candelario Delgado to make a tuning apparatus which was
>> non-traditional but worked for a long time. Dydo restored the
>> original, including adding two legs which had disappeared a
>> long time ago, before I had it. As I've written before, I found
>> the instrument in New Hampshire at an antique shop for eighteen
>> dollars. When I left the proprietor asked what I wanted that old
>> board for. I improvise only on it; I don't read qin notation. I
>> listen a lot to qin music, I've know qin players, including Fred
>> Lieberman, who was partly responsible, I think, for introducing
>> the instrument to the United States. He told me I'd never learn
>> to play it. Stephen Dydo has been amazingly generous and helpful
>> and I've learned to play it. I have to add, not all the way up
>> the scale, and my right hand fingers don't hold the traditional
>> postures. I have to also add I've had it for half a century and
>> we accommodate each other. The improvisation is called 'wards'
>> because it's inwards, outwards, upwards, downwards, forwards,
>> backwards, but mainly in wards. Any relationship to asylum wards
>> is coincidental, hopefully, enjoy. The Album Stephen and I did
>> together for ESP, Dragon and Phoenix, issued by ESP-Disk, is
>> available online. It's described and can be purchased at
>> http://www.espdisk.com/5019.html . Thank you!
>> ___
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