5.25.2012

BlogMe MAYbe I Tell You Something About Me?

I've been in Slackerville when it comes to the BlogMe MAYbe Blogfest, which is supposed to encourage more blogging while still being delightfully schneizeleffort. I'm going to make up some lost ground today, and true to form, it's going to be a post that fits into our APA Month theme as well! Yep, I'm making these posts do WORK.

The Friday prompt for the BlogMe MAYbe fest is usually to share something funny, but I'm using the Tuesday prompt today. The Tuesday prompt is for me to share something about myself.


For 5-6 years, I played the Chinese zither aka the Guzheng. It's an ancient, harp-like instrument with generally 18-23 strings. The one I played had 21 strings and had carvings of cranes on the sides.

Photo from Wikipedia

Anyway, I was decent enough and most importantly I thought it was fun. My fingers, however, just weren't fast enough for me to be really good.

I could manage to play this classic Guzheng song respectably. It's called Yu Zhou Chang Wan aka "Song of the Fishermen" or "Singing at Night Among Fishing Boats." My friend just calls it the "angry fishermen song" because it sounds angry to her. Not sure why.



This more modern-ish song (as in it isn't centuries old) was one I was just becoming okay at when I stopped taking lessons. It's a pretty awesome song but a little on the long side. It's called Zhan tai feng aka "Fighting the Typhoon," and it showcases more of what the zither can do.



Still, I somehow ended up playing a fair number of gigs - fairs, community events, even a freaking concert. Which is all VERY EMBARRASSING considering my level. I just thank the powers that be that youtube hadn't been invented yet.

But speaking of youtube, this spectacular video was brought to my attention semi-recently, in which someone plays Adele's Rolling in the Deep on the zither. It's kind of mind-blowing and makes me want to break out my zither and start tinkering again - not that I aspire to be anything near to this level. You have to understand, the Guzheng is on a pentatonic scale, which is partly why traditional Chinese songs have that distinct tune to them.

So getting those extra notes (which can be created by manipulating the strings) to play a pop song at speed and recognizably is pretty dang awesome. Enjoy!




For those of you in the U.S., HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! I'm so stoked for a long weekend, especially since I JUST GOT A PUPPY! Will share pics next week!

Q4U: Do you play any instruments OR what do you WISH you played?

13 comments:

Julie Dao said...

OMG. That is so cool. I've always wanted to play one of those!! Where did you acquire one? And is it easy to play if you've played other string instruments? Have fun with your new puppy!

Connie Keller said...

Wow! That is gorgeous! I'm so impressed!!

I had piano and flute lessons for years and play terribly. (Thankfully, my children play much, much than I do.)

XiXi said...

That's awesome! I went through a phase where I wanted to play that, except for my phases usually don't result in me seriously pursuing said goal, haha.

lbdiamond said...

Super cool!

Emy Shin said...

I have serious, serious respect for you, Alice. The Chinese zither! *so awesome*

I've played the flute in the past. But alas, it wasn't the cool Asian flute.

The Golden Eagle said...

That is so cool. The zither's an interesting instrument!

I play the piano and violin.

Looking forward to seeing the puppy pictures. :)

Spartezda said...

Oh wow! That version of Adele is amazing.

I played piano for years and years, and was fairly good but hated performing in front of anyone (because I was a neurotic perfectionist). Around 16 I finally said NO MORE RECITALS YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, and my mom answered more reasonably with, "Fine, but you can't make me pay for more lessons either." So we left it there. I still miss piano sometimes, though.

I'm currently considering taking up drums. Like, metal-band-in-the-garage drums. I think it would be fun! Also, no one can ever request that you play "Fur Elise" on them.

(the thing I would very very much secretly like to do is take voice lessons, but I am struggling with being a huge chicken over it)

Ciara said...

Wow, I was seriously impressed. That is one crazy hand movement fr Adele. I've always wanted to learn the harp and piano.

Lydia Kang said...

I always wanted to play the harp. So gorgeous.

That Adele version is amazing!

November Rain - k~ said...

Beautiful music Lydia! I love the sound that comes from it.

Sophia Chang said...

No I did not know that about you and HOLY F#*@ THAT Adele cover IS THE COOLEST SH*4 ON THE INTERNETZ RIGHT NOW

linda said...

WHOA that is so awesome! :D

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I wish I could play an instrument. Or paint. Either of those would be nice, just in case you have a genie lying around.