Chinese artists Deng Hong and Chen Shasha have given excellent performances of Guqin or Qin, Xiao and Xun instruments in Stockholm’s Royal Concert Hall and many other places in Sweden. They are warmly welcomed by the Swedish audience.
Guqin or Qin is also called Yaoqin or Yuqin with seven strings. It has become popular since the Confucius period in the Spring Time which began in 476 B.C or about 3, 000 years ago. It is one of the oldest instruments and also well kept one in Chinese music history and thus also listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO in 2003.
Winning the heart of many Swedish audience in 2007 by a week long tour in Sweden, Sinologist and writer Cecilia Lindqvist who studied Qin in China in the 1960s has invited Deng Hong and Chen Shasha again to have a three week long tour concert beginning March 1 and ending on March 22.
They will perform to as north as Umeå and as south as Lund across Sweden. Deng Hong plays Qin and Chen Shasha plays Xiao, a bamboo flute and Xun as well as Hulusi instruments. Cecilia Lindqvist explains all the stories behind the music in Swedish to the audience.
Deng Hong (L) and Chen Shasha (R) are performing Qin and Xiao instruments at a concert, Stockholm, capital of Sweden, March 12, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)
Professor Lindqvist wrote a book titled Qin in Swedish introducing the old and yet popular Chinese musical instrument to the Swedish people. She is so passionate about Chinese language and music and both her books of the Kingdom of Characters and Qin won the famous Swedish August awards.
“I like to have more people to be able to enjoy such beautiful music that promote the deep feeling from nature and how to be together with other people and friendship.” said professor Lindqvist.
She explained in Swedish to the audience about all the music played by Deng Hong with Qin instrument and Chen Shasha with Xiao and Xun instruments. The programs include Liushui or Flowing water, Meihuasannong or Plum blossom, Pingshaluoyan or Wild goose on the sand and the Herdsman Suwu.
She also told the audience about the moving story between Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi in the Spring and Warring time which began in 476 B.C. Yu Boya was a musician and he happened to meet Zhong Ziqi.
Whatever Yu Boya played, Zhong Ziqi could understand very well and so they became real friends even like brothers. They decided to meet again the next year. But unfortunately Zhong Ziqi died before they could meet. Yu Boya played at Zhong’s graveyard for the last time and crashed his Qin. He decided never to play the Qin any more to show his deep friendship with Zhong Ziqi and how difficult to meet an understanding friend.
In August 1977, the US space detector Voyager One was sent to the universe carrying a special record with various languages and typical music including the melody of “Flowing Water” with Gu Qin played by Chinese musician Guan Pinghu. Professor Lindqvist used to study with Guan Pinghu when she was studying Qin in Beijing in early 1960s.
“Each place we went, the audience was full. And the CDs were almost sold out, we have to make more in Austria again.” said Professor Lindqvist.”It was just fantastic”, said an audience.
With the book Qin, the cds, the performance and the illustration of Professor Lindqvist in Swedish, more and more Swedish become fascinated about the Chinese music.
By Xuefei Chen, People’s Daily Online Correspondent in Stockholm