Closer to Lankao: When young soul meets old tradition

发布时间:2019-10-02 11:15:50    浏览:108

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People can easily mistaken Xu Yachong as a novice guqin maker and performer, but his old hand at the musical instrument is hidden behind his young face. 

Xu, 26, has been making the seven-string plucked instrument of guqin for almost a decade.
Brought up in Xuchang Village of Lankao County in central China's Henan Province, Xu started studying the traditional Chinese instrument at the age of 16, and now manages a guqin workshop in his hometown. 
Closer to Lankao: When young soul meets old tradition(图1)

Guqin maker and performer Xu Yachong adjusts the sound of guqin in Xuchang Village of Lankao County, Henan Province, China, April 25, 2019. /CGTN Photo

"The first time that I learned about the guqin was at the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008," Xu said, "I was quite excited when I heard its sound."
"I still remember it was Chen Leiji, a very famous guqin artist, who played the musical instrument."
That moment sowed the seeds of interest in the young artist.
Closer to Lankao: When young soul meets old tradition(图2)

Guqin maker and performer Xu Yachong digs the internal space of the guqin's faceplate in Xuchang Village of Lankao County, Henan Province, China, April 25, 2019. /CGTN Photo

By chance, Xu found that the guqin was made in his village. While villagers are adept at making the instrument, few of them know how to play it.
"Nobody can tell whether the sound of a guqin was good or bad," Xu added.
After that, the artist started to learn how to identify the sound by travelling to Yangzhou, Kaifeng, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
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He even went to the Wudang Mountains to learn how to make the guqin using an ancient method.
"Unlike the old days when my father's generation made the guqin just for a living, now they realize that it is not only a way to support a family, but to carry forward traditional Chinese culture," Xu noted.
He took this knowledge back with him to start his own business.
Closer to Lankao: When young soul meets old tradition(图3)

Xuchang Village of Lankao County in Henan Province, China, April 25, 2019. /CGTN Photo

Orders are streaming in even though the buyers need to wait for two years to get their custom-made guqin.
Out of the 628 people who live in his village, four out of five people work in the guqin production business, giving his town the moniker "music village."
There are 82 family workshops with more than 900 employees, which helps 253 people from 62 households in poverty.
The industry also promotes music study. On weekends, parents busily send their children to Xu's music classes.
The national musical instrument industry of Lankao, which withdrew from the national list of impoverished counties in 2017, has become one of the pillar industries in the economic development of the county.


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