The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 21, 2014

Crystallic Mystic Qins

recording of the qing qin with vibration meter and mic;
the latter had connection problems in the beginning.
the result was raised three octaves and echo as added.
the piece is crystallic.

The two qins - Qing and 1980s - were tuned about a semitone
apart. They rest on the same table with cushioning. Last
night, a strange event: I found them perfectly in tune with
each other. I've never had this happen before. I'd  made
minor adjustments to each instrument; one or two strings
tend to slip very slightly. But this experience is unique;
it's as if the qins were talking to each other, somehow
aligning themselves. The table wasn't vibrating and there
is no possibility of resonance between them; among other
things (besides the cushioning), they're kept covered with
a cloth when not in use. I think it's the new qin that
followed in the footsteps of the older; the string buzz is
slightly greater. But why would it do this? Just to be
clear, qin tuning isn't all that simple, and the pegs
themselves don't tend to slip. I treat this as a spiritual
response to the Crystallic piece, which motivated the
spirits of the strings to greater alignment, a clarity not
seen in these more or less rational times.

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