Although I like to run a tight ship in terms of scheduling events here at Sacred Spaces every once and a while something comes up that prompts a “drop everything” moment. Having an opportunity to hear a renowned Guqin / 古琴 Master in a Daoist Sacred Space definitely fits that description. On March 4, 2018, at 4:00 pm we will get a chance to do just that. The Guqin / 古琴 is one of the most ancient and recognizable of all Chinese instruments. The Guqin was played by scholars and poets, generals and courtiers for literally hundreds of years. Master John Thompson / 唐世璋, a trained ethnomusicologist and student of the late Master Sun Yü-Ch’in / 唐世璋 has been performing “Historically Informed / 復古風格演奏” elements from the Guqin repertoire for several years and has earned a reputation as a scholar and performer held in high regards. From Master Thompson’s websites…
“John Thompson, with the largest recorded repertoire for the guqin silk-string zither, is certainly one of the most listened to players today: since May 2007 his website has averaged over 8,000 hits a day, many of them from people listening through China’s music download websites to his recordings, unaware that it is not a Chinese master playing their most ancient surviving music. In all, he has reconstructed and recorded over 200 melodies from 15th and 16th century guqin tablature, and his website complements each melody with extensive musicological, historical and philosophical commentary.
As a result, John Thompson is also the best-known musician giving historically informed performances of early guqin music. After a college degree in Western musicology (early music) and graduate studies in ethnomusicology, he began in 1974 to study the modern guqin tradition from Sun Yü-Ch’in in Taiwan. After moving to Hong Kong in 1976 to consult with Tong Kin-Woon he turned his focus to early repertoire, gradually gaining a reputation for the fidelity, fluency and feeling of his performances. In 1992 the National Union of Chinese Musicians invited him to Beijing as the focus of a seminar on reconstructing music from the earliest surviving guqin handbook, Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 CE).
While based in Hong Kong as artistic consultant to the Festival of Asian Arts Thompson performed throughout East Asia, and published seven CDs of his musical reconstructions as well as four books of music transcription. Since 2001, when he moved to New York (and including 2009-2013, when he was based in Mumbai and Singapore), he has continued to perform, teach, research and lecture on the guqin, creating new music as well. His website, www.silkqin.com, is the most comprehensive English-language source of information on this instrument.”
With special thanks to Sifu Kerby Kuek from the Tai-Yi Daoism School for co-hosting this event.
This recital and talk is a FREE Hong Kong Sacred Spaces Society “Members Only” Event. If you are not already a member please see our Membership Application here for details. Membership will give you access to this and other exclusive Sacred Spaces Society Events. Please don’t hesitate to IM me if you have any questions. For those who wish to attend please RSVP here or go to www.sacredspaces.asia/events for further details.