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John Thompson     Performances     Performance Themes     Repertoire     My videos     House of the Lute 唐世璋     首頁
Music Beyond Sound: An American's World of Guqin 1 希聲:一個美國琴人的境界  
A feature-length documentary by veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Lau Shing-hon,2 2019 紀錄長片;劉成漢監製導演,2019  
112 minutes;  TrailerTwo excerptsOuttakes;3 Facebook page4 112分鐘;電影摘錄;   電影摘錄字幕、新聞稿  

This film, premiering Saturday 31 August 2019 at the Hong Kong Movie Movie festival Life is Art 2019, was shot in segments over a ten year period.5 During its first year it is being submitted to various international film festivals; public availability will come after that.6

這部電影用了十年分段拍攝,2019年5月杀青但尚未公開發布,因為暫被提交参选各國際電影節,之後将公開發布。

Press release / trailer text   新聞稿、電影摘錄字幕

In 1974 an American, John Thompson, went to Taiwan, then Hong Kong, to study Chinese and the guqin, a silk string zither with an ancient history. Now, 45 years later, he plays on, still inspired by the beauty of the music and by the culture that produced it.
1974年美國人John Thompson 唐世璋往台灣和香港學習中文和絲弦古琴。45年後他仍在孜孜不倦,全情投入在優美的古琴演奏和文化硏究之中。

In 2010 he was the only non-Chinese among 14 masters the Zhejiang Museum invited to play in a program featuring guqins over 1000 years old.
2010年浙江省博物館唐琴演奏會邀請十四位古琴大師以國寶千年唐朝古琴演奏,唐世璋是唯一被邀請的外國古琴家!

How did this happen? And why should a Westerner spend so much of his life in something so Chinese?
一個西方人為甚麼會對古琴投入畢生光陰和精力,不離不棄!

This documentary film, made over a 10 year period by Hong Kong veteran filmmaker Lau Shing Hon, tries to answer this.
香港資深導演劉成漢花了十年時間拍成的最新紀錄長片, 試圖解答這個問題!

* * *

An East-West rendezvous in classical music and culture!
西方邂逅千年東方古典文化與音樂的璀燦 !

Beautiful music! Fascinating! Moving!
Absolutely inspiring!
啟發!豐富!音色優美!
真情投入!令人感動!

Not to be missed!
精心製作,萬勿錯過!

 
名家推介 - Testimonials from the film

  • Mr. Thompson not only plays qin, he also has been doing extensive dapu (reconstruction of early melodies) and in-depth research of qin culture, setting a very good example for our young people. The sounds he plays are very authentic because, unlike many who nowadays use only metal strings, he has always used silk strings. He is thus preserving a very important part of the qin tradition.
    Wang Duo, Suzhou guqin master

    唐世璋先生在打譜發堀古曲方面做了很好很多工作,给後人很好榜樣,他彈琴音色很傳统因為他用絲弦,不像現在很多人只用鋼弦,他保持了絲弦這個傳统, 應該是很重要的.
    汪鐸,蘇州著名古琴家

  • Mr. Thompson's work and his contribution to the art and culture of guqin are very impressive, especially to young friends and students studying guqin. They all admire Mr. Thompson very much!
    Dai Xiaolian, guqin master, professor at the Shanghai Conservatory

    唐先生一直孜孜不倦在推進古琴文化,给我的印象是非常深刻的,對於後來的人,特别是我們從事學琴的年青朋友。同學來説,他们對唐先生也是非常崇拜的!
    戴曉蓮,著名古琴家,上海音樂学院教授。

  • Mr. Thompson has not only completed reconstructing the entire classic qin Handbook of Spiritual and Marvelous Mysteries, he has also done much in-depth comparison of different tablatures for the same melodies in terms of their academic and artistic elements; although a foreigner, he has great devotion and dedication to Chinese arts and culture, I really have deep respect and gratitude for his achievements.
    Li Mingzhong, Xi'an guqin master and professor at the Xi'an Music Academy

    唐先生把明朝《神奇秘譜》整個打了一遍,而且做了很多不同譜本的同樣樂曲的比較,進行很细緻的學術和藝術性研究,作為一個外國人,能對中華文化這樣熱爱和投入,我一直從內心很敬佩他,也很感謝他.
    李明忠,著名古琴家,西安音樂學院教授

  • His whole life is devoted to China's culture of guqin. He has made many precious contributions, such as his reconstructing of all the music in the Shen Qi Mi Pu, reflecting his unique points of view as a foreigner.
    Wu Zhao, Beijing guqin master and professor emeritus

    唐先生他整個身心都投入到古琴去,這都是很難得的事情,這方面是投入了很多,做出了很多的成績!
    吳釗,北京著名古琴家及教授

  • When reconstructing ancient melodies John’s fingering techniques and positions on the strings are very authentic to the original tablature, so he has made many contributions to the discovery and preservation of the actual music...making unique contributions to guqin music culture.
    Tong Kin-Woon, Hong Kong guqin master

    唐世璋重打古譜的指法弦位跟按音位都是很忠於古琴原譜的,所以他對原譜的保存發掘是很有功勞的...他對中國古琴文化是很有貢獻的。
    唐健垣,香港著名古琴家

  • For a foreigner to contribute to Chinese culture such passion and creativity is really admirable. His guqin artistry has reached very high level.
    Ding Chengyun, guqin master, professor, Wuhan Music Academy

    唐先生一個外國人能夠對中國文化有這麼大的熱情,他這個創造力 的確是使人敬佩的; 他的古琴演奏水平相當高。 丁承運,著名古琴家,武漢音樂學院教授音樂學院教授
    丁承運,著名古琴家,武漢音樂學院教授

  • Mr. Thompson's guqin website is the best one at present, even including Chinese sites. It is so thorough and really impressive....
    Wang Bu, professor, East China Normal University

    作為一位美國學者,唐世璋目前對中國古琴所做的工作,在中國 本土也可說是鳳毛麟角.
    王晡,華東師大音樂系教授

  • In his dignified and concise performing style, Mr Thompson elegantly reveals the grace of the ancient guqin tradition of the literati rarely seen today! Such natural honest devotion is exceptional, Mr.Thompson has fully acheived the free and romantic spirit of the classical scholar.
    Bi Minghui, professor, School of Arts, Peking University

    唐世璋先生在持重凝练的表演风格中,优雅地为听众呈现出琴乐本有而今不太多见的文人雅道,令人感佩。如唐先生此般执着忘我不问世俗的躬行者极度罕见,唐生真可谓尽得文人风流。
    畢明輝,北京大學艺术学院教授

 

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 希聲:一個美國琴人的境界 - Music Beyond Sound: An American's World of Guqin
A number of people worked on this film, most notably those mentioned in the film credits.

製作名單 Film Credits:

This page was initiated 1 May 2019.
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2. 劉成漢 Lau Shing Hon (中文簡介)
Further information about Lau is linked here; see in particular his entry in the Ultimate Guide to HK Film Directors

Lau and I have been friends since 1978, when he asked me to do the music for his first feature film, 慾火焚琴 House of the Lute. To my knowledge this is still the only full length feature film to have used guqin music almost exclusively (see Guqin in film). Some of the musical decisions are described there.
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3. Outtakes
Other melodies recorded but not included in the film include:

These two scenes were filmed by 黃可範 Richard Wong on Cheung Chau island in February, 2017.
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4. Facebook page
Select "Posts" to make a comment. You should also be able to make a comment on
my Facebook page.
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5. Shot locations
Lau directed the filming in Hong Kong (including Cheung Chau and Tung Chung) and Hangzhou. The film also includes an official video from the Zhejiang Concert Hall (浙江音樂廳) in Hangzhou, plus a video I made in Tampa, Florida.
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6. Screening the film
As of August 2019 non-commercial screenings can be arranged on request. Meanwhile, the "Watch Video" button on the film's
Facebook page links only to the trailer.
目前Facebook頁面上的"Watch Video"(觀看視頻)鏈接到電影預告片。
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7. 電影預告片 Trailer for the film
Length: 2 min 36 sec.
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8. 電影摘錄 Excerpt 1 from film
From 08.38 to 11.22; filmed in Tung Chung and Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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9. 電影摘錄 Excerpt 2 from film
From 17.10 to 18.07; filmed in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, with images from Taipei and Hong Kong.
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10. Poster announcing the film
Poster design by 許晴嵐 Hui Ching Laam
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11. Image from the opening scene
1 min 14 sec from the beginning; shot at the end of 海濤半島 Seascape Peninsula, above 香港長州南氹灣 Nam Tam Bay, Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong. The text on screen refers to my focus on music of the Ming dynasty, discussed further here.
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12. More stills from the film
The first two images are from Hong Kong, the last two were shot in Hangzhou.
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電影預告片  Trailer for the film 7

電影摘錄 Excerpt from the film8

電影摘錄 Another excerpt from the film 9

Poster announcing the film 10

Music source (from the opening scene) 11

More stills from the film12

Go to JT Bio or to the Guqin ToC