In my stay of 2 years in Taiwan I have seen countless number of chinese movies ranging from mind numbing comedy[?] to gravity defying gong-fu movies. 80 percent of the movies had same common stories where students from various martial schools wants to prove their superiority. Its amuses me how these movies come up with new names for martial arts stances shown in the movie for example ‘Solar Stance’, ‘Drunken Monkey stance’ or ‘No Shadow Kick’ n so on. There are so many of them. But never mind I still love to watch them and keep my eyes open to read new stance names. [because I gotta read the subtitles lol]

Another thing that fascinates me about these movies is traditional chinese music. In particular a Chinese musical instrument known as  Guzhengor Gu-zheng  古箏 . This is a most ancient Chinese musical instrument dating all the way back to Qin Dynasty (206 BC). It is a plucked string instrument with interesting history.  I recently got a CD from my colleague who also happens to play this instrument. The album is by an artist known as Ying Chang. Unfortunately I couldn’t locate any information on her in English on Internet. But you can listen to third soundtrack of the album here [Be advised that the video will start to play immediately once the page is loaded]. Anyways the album is awesome. The sound of Guzheng is so soothing and serene. I have seen one artist playing Guzheng at Danshui. I was so fascinated by the sound I simply didn’t want to leave. Friends had to literally drag me out of there.

Another interesting thing I came to know is that each of these songs portrays a story of its own. For example the song in the video link given above is about two sisters who lived in Northern China. They used to herd sheep in snowy mountains. Once one of the sister got buried in heavy snowfall and the song describes their struggle of survival.

I am not seriously into music but it was interesting to learn something about Chinese traditional music.

Published: October 29 2007

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