Serenaded by the King

"Distance tests the endurance of a horse; time reveals a man's character." -Chinese proverb Sometimes I feel like I'm an older soul trapped in a younger person's body. I've always felt this way. Maybe it's the fact that I'm more reserved and cautious by nature, or that I'm fascinated by earlier times. I like listening to "oldies" music, particularly songs from the 1950s. So when there was a chance for me to attend an Elvis tribute concert, particularly one touted "as the closest thing to young … [Read more...]

The Chinese dulcimer

"Crows are black the world over." -Chinese proverb What would I consider to be a universal language? Music. Wherever you come from, you can appreciate the wordless art. This past weekend, I had a chance to listen to a Chinese hammered dulcimer. Hammered dulcimers, like those black crows, exist all over the world. They are instruments with strings stretched across a trapezoidal sounding board and are played with small mallets (hammers). The name dulcimer comes from the Latin dulcis … [Read more...]

Writing Highlights from 2012

Deihseui: blind manIn Gwongdung province, there is a folk song called "Deihseui naahmyam." Deihseui refers to a blind (man) musician. In ancient times, almost all music masters were blind men.Music, the life of celebrations.Instead of a Christmas letter, I usually send out a New Year's mailing. This is mostly due to procrastination, but I also like reviewing the whole calendar year before I write to family and friends. Oftentimes, though, I feel like a blind man, not knowing what to put down on … [Read more...]