[NetBehaviour] Woven Qin

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Apr 10 20:34:26 CEST 2021


Alan,
it's beautiful music, and I can sense the intensity
(and surely one sees it in the photo).
i wondered how you approach/ed such instruments in the first place, if (presumably) you taught yourself
or started to play them kinetically, intuitively, and shifted your growing musical and physical knowledge across/around
the string instruments (and keyboards) I have seen you play. You worry about "the proper positions of  fingers on the strings.."?
i wonder why you indeed worried (surely not covid induced) - it interests really me how you hold up and sustain your tremendous continuum/commitment to play these difficult instruments....and get yourself into them and their particularities so emphatically!

Now, it was you who inspired me to look for such Chinese instruments, I wanted to include one in our DAP-Lab "Mourning for a dead moon" dance, performed in London in late December 2019, before Covid. One of our Chinese dancer/performers volunteered to play the qin, and off I went looking for one, during a trip to Berlin in November.  I found a fabulous Turkish-German music instrument store in Kreuzberg, and after a few hours I left, feeling very excited, not really knowing what I had bought. The young man convinced me it was a qin, but back in London, my dancers explained I had bought an erhu ( 二胡; pinyin), a very elegant and beautiful instrument, just 2 strings.... Our dancer Helenna Ren played the erhu in two short scenes, we miked the instrument & processed the sound in Max/Msp in addition to the live playing.  That concert, with live audience, seems ages ago now, unbelievably.

regards,
Johannes Birringer
Dap-Lab

________________________________________
From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: 10 April 2021 16:22
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Cc: Alan Sondheim
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Woven Qin

Thank you! That means a lot to me, the qin is always difficult for me and oddly you have to let go of that difficulty in order to play it -

Best, Alan

On Sat, Apr 10, 2021 at 10:28 AM Simon Mclennan via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
This is a nice piece of qin music. I listened in a meditative mood of afternoon drizzle and cold
English weather. The mood
Was enhanced as my feet
Toasted under a wooden blanket and my nodding head
Started to nod even more.
Thanks Alan!
S

Sent from my spyphone

> On 10 Apr 2021, at 00:21, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com<mailto:sondheim at panix.com>> wrote:
>
>
>
> Woven Qin
>
> http://www.alansondheim.org/woven.mp3
> http://www.alansondheim.org/woven.jpg
>
> My qin has a problem on the fourth highest string which is that
> there is a ringing sound coming from it and I think I know now
> that the ringing sound is from a very slight band in the string
> about 2-3 cm from where it attaches to the lower bridge . I've
> worked to try to get this straightened out but I will live with
> it because it is too difficult and the tension is too delicate
> to do anything but live with it . in the mean time I'm having
> constant difficulties trying to find the proper positions of my
> fingers on the strings . 7 strings and any number of positions
> which I get it to some extent by the dots that represent the
> harmonics . but on the other hand was happening is that I'm
> forgetting the in between positions and the relative positioning
> of each string in relationship to the others particularly at the
> lower end of things. I've been working and working on this and
> wondering if something is going in my mind yet again so that the
> positioning isn't becoming tacit knowledge but instead is
> something I have to constantly calculate and re calculate. you
> have no idea how depressing this can be . it means I can't play
> naturally my hands dancing on the strings but have to think have
> to think every so often and slow up and rework the positioning
> of my hands to be correct . sometimes I'll draw it a complete
> blank period . sometimes I'll draw a complete blank . I don't
> know what that means when that happens but I think it's
> connected with covid with the epidemic. In any case here is some
> music that I think turned out alright. I've placed the qin on
> some softe cloth in order to somewhat subdue the upper harmonics
> where the problem is lying with the fourth string or the third
> depending on which end you're counting from. Thank you and have
> a listen, this has been a struggle.
>
> __
>
>
> Did You Know ? Every hour grows up to be an hour and a half !!
>
> ___
>
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