Caprice Records 2010 released a unique double CD of qin music to coincide with the WOMEX trade fair that year. Titled The Sound of the Soul, it contains a number of pieces that belong to the very heart of qin music and that have never before appeared on a recording. The anthology has been produced in close association with sinologist and author Cecilia Lindqvist.
“In no other music does one come so close to a whole civilisation’s fate, feelings and dreams as one does with qin music,” says Cecilia Lindqvist, and describes her relationship to qin music as one of “a deep and lasting love for this wonderful, meditative music which in and of itself encapsulates several thousand years’ experience in how to live one’s life.”
Cecilia Lindqvist has devoted much of her life to the qin. She has written the August Prize-winning book Qin, which is now in great demand in China and Taiwan, and has been involved in the production of the earlier Caprice release Qin – Himmelsk musik för qin och xiao.
The very positive reception in Sweden and the Asiatic world prompted Cecilia to work on the recording of a new CD. There are, she says, many thousand pieces for the qin, and has chosen 24 for this new recording. “Almost half of them form the very soul of qin music and have never been recorded before, including some of the most beautiful love songs ever written in the history of music.”
The qin used on this recording once belonged to China’s foremost qin player of the 20th century, Guan Pinghu. Cecilia explains that it is extremely important for the sound to follow tradition and play on silk strings, since “this music is based on the beauty of the individual notes.”
Qin player Deng Hong and Chen Shasha, who plays the xiao, are both employed by China’s internationally renowned National Orchestra, and featured on the previous CD. Her performance prompted the British world music magazine Songlines to dub her “Qin’s New Queen” as well as giving the album a 5 star out of 5 review.