Mid-Autumn TQS Gathering: Plan with us!

Won't be indoor, this time though.

Dear TorGuqin members:

Our next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 11, 2011 sometime in the afternoon, tentatively located at Toronto Botanical Gardens. We welcome all people in the Greater Toronto Area to join us for a day of fresh air, guqin music, various exotic plants and trees, and maybe even mooncake to boot!

However, in order to make this happen, we will need YOUR suggestion as to what time and whether you are available or not. So leave a message here, or see and mark the Facebook event located here!

The plan for the day: We meet up outside Edward Gardens near the Water Garden, then take a nature hike to a grassy area south (red star), where we will sit down and enjoy music and chat casually for 1/3 of the session, then take the route back to the parking lot, and regather at the Botanical Garden's patio area (NE area, where the "Edward Gardens" label is) for food and drinks and more music.

Wandering in the formless? There’s an app for that.

Apple fanbois unite/beware!

Years ago, a gag photo of a qin labelled with the famous Macintosh Apple caused quite the laugh and musings of the Facebook qin community.

“Introducing the iQin. Wandering into the formless? There’s an app for that.” was the catch of the day, and now such dreams are realized.
…OK, so it’s NOT actually called the “iQin”. For now.
(Kudos to Ashley Guan of London Youlan Qin Society for the news)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id453183182?mt=8 古琴 Guqin Zither (iTunes app)
While this app is not a proportionate representation of an actual qin (we’d need one LOOONG iPad for that – perhaps we need an iScroll?), it accurately portrays the physics of the unfretted instrument. For the uninitiated for the qin, there are alternative markers for pitch positions in similitude to the guitar – frets, as well as guitar markers are switchable options in the settings. Maximizing the customizability of digital programming, this app gives the chance at making the qin interface a virtual string-synth for classic qin sounds, as well as the zheng, koto, shamisen, and three flavours of guitar.
Compared with other apps like iKoto this app has still much room for feature development in terms of professional qin know-how (eg. preset qin repertoires and set tunings for strings), and the plucking interface still seems relatively raw (an ideal would be changing the timbre of the instrument to reflect in/outward flicking), it shows much promise in development.
While the catchphrase describes the qin as the “Chinese violin guitar” hurts the ears of the community, we can oversee that in prospects that this project may be the consumer breakthrough for digital guqins and digitization of guqin music ever since Chen Changlin’s guqin MIDI project in 1987.
See the app in action, with audio description by the maker, tkviper:
UPDATE: Version 1.1 (coming soon) is going to be EVEN MORE awesome, as “Standards of the Guqin” author Juni Yeung provides assistance in designing features such as external tunings and full-sized qin interface access!

TorGuqin visits NYQS on August 7

Yanyan Zhu of TorGuqin (front 2nd left) and Zhang Peiyou of NYQS (front 3rd left), along with friends and family on the day of the gathering.

On August 7, 2011, Yanyan Zhu (of Longyin Qin Studio and TorGuqin) and her family were warmly received by members of the New York Qin Society (NYQS) in a local gathering, where we shared music, singing, food, and calligraphy.

Despite some fretting the night before, we managed to take lots of memories in the form of pictures, audio recordings, and videos! Great thanks to Matthew Flannery for bringing the various calligraphy scrolls and works of Zeng Xi 曾熙 (1861-1930), calligraphy master and teacher of modern Chinese painting maestro Zhang Daqian 張大千, and Jeanette for the delectable refreshments for everyone to enjoy.

For Chang Peiyou’s account of the day and evening, see her accounts here.

If you have Facebook, see a video of Yanna playing Jiu Kuang here.

Also click below for more audio recordings. Kudos to Chang Peiyou for the source.

Yanna Zhu – Pingsha Luoyan 平沙落雁

Yanna Zhu – Oulu Wangji 鷗鷺忘機

Yanna Zhu – Gexi Mei Ling 鬲溪梅令

NYQS Judy Yeh and student Sam Zhang playing Guanshan Yue. More pictures on NYQS site and Facebook group.

See more about the event, or catch up with the New York group on Facebook, located here.

See Matthew’s mini-lecture on Zeng Xi’s calligraphy below:


August 2011