North American Guqin Association

NAGA July 22, 2006

Hayward Japanese Gardens Yaji Report

On Saturday July 22 the North American Guqin Association returned to the Hayward Japanese Gardens for a casual gathering amidst intricately shaped trees, curving walkways, pavilions, and a koi filled lake. Michael Cohen's photos of the event can be viewed at:

NAGA's recent yaji outings have been highly successful. We are happy to see that we can help people to improve their work-life balance. This time attendees included many faces new to guqin and Chinese music from various locations. We also had attention from the local media: the Daily Review wrote an article before the event and sent a photographer to the event itself. Please see their coverage at

Event summary

Each NAGA outing has a different theme. That of the last yaji at the Lotus Gardens was ※赏莲﹞交友 ﹞听琴﹞唱曲§ (appreciating the lotus, making friends, listening to qin music and singing kunqu). The theme of this yaji was ※消夏游园,以琴会友§ (touring gardens in the summer, making friends through playing the qin). NAGA members as well as new guests initially gathered in the Lake Pavilion. This structure is surrounded by a small lake where large koi swim effortlessly and turtles occasionally buoy to the surface. A slight breeze proved a blessing in the afternoon heat. The yaji had barely begun when late arrivals to an already crowded space prompted a move to the larger Tea House Pavilion. The photographer who had been sent by the Daily Review to photograph our group cleverly took this move as an opportunity to snap some photos of Wang Fei in her colorful dress playing the qin in the now empty pavilion with a waterfall as the backdrop. In fact, several photographers did likewise and the continuous stream of photo taking and video making throughout the afternoon gave one the impression that NAGA's venture was a kind of celebrity event. Once in the other pavilion Wang Fei had the entire group introduce themselves. One new guest, Greg Livingston, was a Westerner studying Chinese Traditional Medicine in Hangzhou. He recently began studying the guqin and gave us a wonderful rendition of the opening to Mei Hua San Nong. Another new guest, Mark Kuo, a friend of Professor Lindy Li Mark, played inspired flute for us, performing part of Peony Pavilion. He also joined in on ensemble pieces. The opening piece to the yaji was Guan Shan Yue performed by Wang Fei. Several pieces throughout the yaji were played with singing accompaniment, namely Yang Guan San Die, Guan Shan Yue, and Zi Ye Wu Ge. Group singing has become a tradition at yajis. A flute duet, perhaps a yaji first, was performed by Mark Kuo and Yongan Wang. Subsequent collaborations brought in Monique Kuo on zhonghu and James Byfield on erhu. As always a group photo closed the yaji's activity. Please see the complete program listing below.


1.     Guan Shan Yue 每 Wang Fei on guqin

2.     Mei Hua San Nong 每 Greg Livingston on guqin

3.     Yang Guan San Die 每 Lily Zhao on guqin

4.     Ping Sha Luo Yan - Kwan Wong on guqin

5.     Zi Ye Wu Ge 每 Fred Pohlmann on guqin

6.     Xiang Jiang Yuan 每 Jiang Wenyu on guqin

7.     Peony Pavilion 每 Mark Kuo on flute

8.     Yang Guan San Die 每 Mark Kuo and Wang Yongan on flute and Monique Kuo on zhonghu with Lily Zhao, Wang Fei, Jiang Wenyu, and Kwan Wong singing

9.     My Dear Mother 每 James Byfield on erhu and Monique Kuo on zhonghu

10. Guan San Yue 每 Mark Kuo and Wang Yongan on flute and Monique Kuo on zhonghu with Lily Zhao, Wang Fei, June Lou, Jiang Wenyu, and Kwan Wong singing

11. Zi Ye Wu Ge 每 Wang Fei on guqin, Mark Kuo and Kwan Wong on flute, everyone else singing

List of attendees

Liu Ming

Jiang Wenyu

Kai K. Chung

Lily Zhao

Tom Lorentzen

Greg Livingston

Sanford Tom

James Byfield

Yan Liang

Kwan Wong

Eric Rosenbush

Linda Byfield

Wang Yongan

Michael Cohen


Monique Kuo

June Lou

Yee Ping Chung

Fred Pohlmann

Frank Lin

Wang Fei

Mark Kuo

Angie Qian



Thanks go to Michael Cohen for photos and videos taken, to the Daily Review for photos taken, and to Christopher Evans for his translations.

For an html version of the yaji report, please visit

In the future, NAGA to plan host yajis with the following themes:

琴韵, 竹影, Music of the qin, shadows of bamboo, a breeze from the sea.

携琴会知音,观湖揽日落 Playing the qin with close friends, touring lakes and watching sunsets.

良辰享美食,雅仕品清琴 Enjoying good food at pleasant dawns, cultured people appreciating the elegant sounds of the qin.

Please keep an eye on our news updates at


Reporter: Fred Pohlmann

Editor: Julian Joseph

North American Guqin Association

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