Recap: Some of TorGuqin’s Activities since Chinese New Year 4710

Before entering the main article, please note that there is an art exhibition and guqin demonstration by Esther Zhang, a local Chinese artist and qin player the coming Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 3PM. Please visit!/events/303925063012798/ for more details.


Over the years, TorGuqin has posted many event announcements on the website regarding its activities — meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, performances…and it is only intermittently that pictures or reports are posted back. Does this mean that it didn’t take place?

Far from it.

Recently, we actually have been in more activities than described on our website (and Facebook event pages), to which thanks to Yanyan Zhu, we are now able to record our events on HD digital video in addition to our paper records of our gatherings and events. Since February 2012, TorGuqin members have performed in the Evergreen Farmer’s Market, given lectures on the qin and Chinese drama at the University of Toronto, received Dr. Keren Li from Nanjing, as well as Dr. Yip Mingmei from New York as an honoured guest to our gatherings.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the word count of the following would be beyond millions.

These two videos are from Yanyan Zhu’s University of Toronto guest lecture on Chinese drama. The first video features her demonstration of An Xiang (Hidden Fragrance), a Song dynasty lyric by Jiang Kui and recently restored to its original tune. The latter video includes demonstrations from Yuan opera (Injustice of Dou E) and Ming era Kunqu (The Peony Pavilion). As a local of Nanjing, Yanyan’s immersion in these forms of vocal tradition is natural. Do please remember to turn up the volume a bit for listening to her talk, though.

Prof. Lin was our artist-in-residence during February 2012, where he shared his decades of expertise on the Chinese flutes dizi and xiao to the local communities for the instrument, as well as its best string partner – the qin. Here is a video of his own composition Zuiwo Shanlin, or “Resting Drunken Amongst the Mountains and Woods”

On March 16, we had a gathering in honour of Dr. Yip Mingmei. This was a celebrated event, and despite the unfortunate incident of food poisoning from another event the night previous, Dr. Yip demonstrated her experience and talent with a similar skill to Yanyan’s — singing Song (era) Lyrics in qin song. In this video are the TQS member performances, but does not include my own (Juni Yeung’s).

Our talent is not limited to the qin alone – Roy Hagman, a student to the qin, also researches and performs mediaeval European music. Here is a wonder demonstration of some Troubadour songs shared in our gathering, as well as some Tai Chi improvisation from Master Du Dexi to the melodies of the qin.


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April 2012
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