Ok, so I have always loved Chinese Orchestra, but recently I just had to act upon it! I purchased a Liuqin recently from an awesome store in Singapore, Eason Musical Instruments. You can also visit their blog: Chinese Instrument Blog. Their service was fantastic. I conversed several times with the owner about the instrument I was looking for. Based on my desires, they recommended several instruments, some that were not featured on the website. I was sent video examples of each instrument to help my decision. Very helpful and informative. They really went the extra step to insure my instrument was the one for me!
BIG WARNING! If you ship stuff from Singapore…PAY FOR FED EX!!!!!!!! Everything came through customs fine with Fed Ex, but some strings going through standard mail got lost, and their replacements took forever! This was NOT the fault of Eason, but the mail system. It pays to use FedEx expedited!
So, here I am with a beautiful Liuqin made of Willow, Ivory and Jade! It’s so sweet sounding. It just sings! Perfect action and setup! I will post pictures in another post. (you can see it in my recent studio panorama however!)
So, does anyone else play a Liuqin around here? I would love to collaborate with some other musicians that play a Liuqin, or even other Chinese instruments! If you are in the DC / MD / VA / PA, drop me a line! Also, it seems finding resources or sheet music for the Liuqin has been quite difficult. (Maybe I should learn Chinese!) I will probably have to sit down and really transcribe some of this stuff! I will be posting recordings of my own compositions with the Liuqin shortly! It’s so inspiring to play!
The Liuqin is tuned G-D-G-D which is a pair of 5ths (intervals), but the center is 4ths. I have been experimenting with G-D-G-C with gives me a 5th and two 4ths. This eases the tension on the highest string slightly. It also allows me to run arpeggios and chords more similar to a guitar. Makes it easier for my mind to process for the time being. (and its only one step, so i’m not far from the traditional tuning should I need to adjust!)
I have provided YouTube clips for two songs that I love! Enjoy the awesome sounds of the Liuqin!
The Garden After Rain (totally rocks out around 7:10 or so!!!)