Flowing Spring of Jade Stream

Sitting on a large boulder by the waterfall, I recorded this ancient piece—Flowing Spring of Jade Stream 碧澗流泉. Like many guqin melodies that express motifs from nature, this one is supposed to evoke the mood of a gentle brook cascading over rocks.

Normally accustomed to playing on a guqin table, this is my first time trying to play a piece out in a natural setting, with the instrument on my lap.

The first part begins with a sliding note followed by a discordant dyad. The second part begins the first of three variations on a theme, each with increasing complexity and length. Between the second and last variations, the interlude of slides and hammer-ons suggest the playful flow of water.

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