The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Qin Again

These were more difficult to me and on occasion
I'm missing the note or harmonic, but not to any
great extent, I think whenever I hear what I record,
the faults resonate more than the rest, which
almost disappears into the background, the faults
appear like stumbling blocks, but also signify the
body itself, for example, here I was out of tune,
the fingers slipping or the position forgotten, or,
here, the harmonic touch was slightly off, the
higher ones are so unforgiving, and this is again
my fingers off or sliding on the side of the
string which is suspended taut above the board, so
it comes down to hands, memory, confusion, mislaid
left or right hand positions, something amiss, not
to be taken lightly but hopefully for others who
have just come to the pieces, the background will
become foreground, the errors slurred over, the
music emerging, and so much more difficult on
these instruments without the easy convenience of
frets that place the fingers just so for you, on
the other hand or fingers, allowing for little
deviation, the qin, guqin, ch'in, is more than
that, encompassing the world between the upper
and lower surfaces, the pillar of earth and the
pillar of heaven holding both in harmony, and on
mine, the hui position markers slightly out of
skew, perhaps I am living the year of fourteen
months, perhaps my qin has come from another time
or another qin altogether, perhaps someone else
is playing when I had murmured, mine.

heaven, earth, dragon pond, pool, goose, dragon,

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