Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To market, to market, to buy a fat bow

There's a music fair held in Beijing from this Thursday to Sunday and I'll be there.

The Beijing fair is usually of a smaller scale than the Shanghai fair, but it'll still be interesting nevertheless.

I'll be looking for new gadgets and accessories, mainly for the Erhu and Dizi. One of my customers ask me to pick some fat bows from WXD.

I'll be back with more pictures and videos.

Watch this space.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Videos of a Yangqin, Zhongruan, an Erhu

I would like to share 3 videos that I took recently of some music instruments.

1) The first is an instrument called the Yangqin. It is a dulcimer type instrument played using 2 beaters. Click here for a brief introduction of the Yangqin. The Yangqin in the 2 videos below is from Beijing Yuehua model number 402G.

video

video

It has such a beautiful tone. But maintaining and tuning it is such a pain. There are 100 over strings altogether. Imagine how tedious it is to restring the instrument. Its like restringing 20 over guitars in one shot.

But my collegue the baldie (you've seen him in some videos) does a fantastic job in restringing the Yangqin. He even soaks the small metal ball bearings in spirits to give it a shine.

2) A while ago one of my customers asked if I have a cheaper Zhongruan than those listed on my website. Well, we have one that costs US$219 and I made a sample video of it. Here it is:

video

Not listed on the website yet.

3) The last is a Sandalwood Erhu by Lu Lin Sheng. It was on my website for a long time but only recently I took a video of it.

video

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Update on the new Erhu hardcases

Red color is out of stock! But we found one unit of blue.


The cases are listed here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Pictures of New Erhu Cases

Ok I've took some pictures of the new Erhu cases that came in.

They come in 4 colors:

....Red



...Silver


...White


...and Black


...The 4 colors lined up together


...You can sling it on your shoulders by attaching the straps included to the rings on the underside of the case


...Or you can hand carry the case


...the plush interior again


Cost of case: US$85

Because it weighs a hefty 3.5kg, the shipping fee to USA and Western Europe is US$68.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New stocks! And No Stocks!

New stocks of instruments and accessories just came in yesterday. Below is a run down of some of the items. People in Singapore can just drop by our shop to check them out. People not in Singapore will need to wait till I get my act together to view some of the new items.

1) Fang Fang Soloist strings
Nothing new but been out of stock for quite a while.

2) Belt clip
Dancing while playing the Erhu seems to be the new fab.

3) Song Round Rosin
Very good piece of rosin.

4) Erhu Bow by WXD
We brought in a higher quality model than the one in the link.

5) New High Quality Erhu Cases
The plushy new Erhu cases which I talked about in my previous post are here. I haven't seen them all yet, but I spotted silver and red colors. I think I brought in black or dark blue as well.




6) Wang Gen Xing Erhus
Got a couple in and left with 2 aged rosewood. Email me at tansungwah@eason.com.sg if you are interested.

7) Wan Qi Xing Gaohus
Not a lot of people interested in Gaohus apparently. Too high pitched for your liking eh? But here's a good one if you are looking for one.

8) Shanghai Dunhuang Guzhengs
Among them are new stocks of Aged Rosewood Guzhengs with new designs and stocks of starter grade Guzhengs that costs S$500.

9) Concert Grade Shanghai Liuqins
I've let you down, my Liuqins... I know I've never given you much attention compared to the rest of the Chinese instruments. Your time will come soon.

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I have to apologize to those people who are still waiting for Dong Xue Hua's Dizis and Xiaos to come. The flutes were sent to us a couple of weeks ago and the latest from him is that his shipping agent cannot track where the package is at the moment. I hope they get it sorted out soon. Feel free to let me know if you quit waiting and want a refund.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dizi, Chinese Bamboo Flutes by Xie Bing

I had a new batch of Dizis (Chinese Bamboo Flute) that came in today by a maker called Xie Bing (解兵).

Xie Bing's flutes were actually brought to my attention by Zhan Yong Ming, who is a 1st grade Dizi performer in China. He was in China a while ago and we asked him if he could pick and bring back one lot of Xie Bing Dizis to Singapore.

He came to our shop this afternoon with the Dizis. I'm not a flute player so I'm usually very excited when excellent flute players share their opinions on the different Dizi makers.

Zhan Yong Ming was full of praise for Xie Bing's Dizis. He told me the quality of his Dizis has improved tremendously over the years. XB's flutes are easy to play, has excellent tone and has excellent intonation. He has been introducing the Dizis to all his students recently.

He took a few Dizis and tested the different octaves in front of me. I not so discreetly took out my digital camera and took a few clips.

By the way, he just used scotch-tape to tape over the dimo hole for convenience sake. So you can imagine how good it sounds with the dimo on:

video


video


video

See how the high notes are reached with ease.

And they look gorgeous as well:



I have his F, E and D key flutes listed on my website currently:

- Xie Bing F key Dizi
- Xie Bing E key Dizi
- Xie Bing D key Dizi

The keys not listed but in stock are high A, high G, C, low A and low G. You can contact me at tansungwah@eason.com.sg if you want to order them.

I know some of you might be thinking, these bamboo flutes might be prone to cracking. What if I bought one and it cracks not due to my negligence?

Well, we have good news for you. We've spoken to Xie Bing and he has agreed to do a 1 to 1 exchange if his Dizi cracks due to climatic changes (not if you drop it on the floor or bash your friend with it.)

But please take good care of it by keeping it in the cloth case provided when you are not playing it. Do not hang it out to dry after playing.

So there you have it. Xie Bing's Dizis. Quality guaranteed. You get a new piece if it cracks naturally. (We'll need to bill you US$12 for the return postage though)

If you are interested in seeing performances of Zhan Yong Ming, here are some youtube videos of him when he was younger:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxKiaB3GNPA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrYqfkCuzLo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGm6RlF9zI

A search would yield more results.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

USA Economic Stimulus Package

President George Bush has announced, as part of the economic stimulus package, to give each US taxpayer as much as US$800 by Spring.

Now you should know by now I am on personal speaking terms with George Bush, who gave me the go ahead to adapt his Bush - Hu joke for my Hu Han Rou blog entry a couple of months ago.

I just got off the phone with him and wants US residents to spend all of it on Erhus, Pipas and Dizis in my online store!

I will in turn use the proceeds to buy books from Amazon.com, a ring for my wife from Tiffany & Co., a Chevrolet Corvette and a piece of US real estate from Ebay.

The ultimate goal of stimulating the US economy is achieved. In fact I've already done my part by paying to go to a seminar full of motivational speakers from all over USA!

But the last time I checked, only 27% of US citizens have positive views of George Bush. So the rest of the 73% might try to go against him. Rats!

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I'm just kidding if you haven't figured it out by now.

By the way, we're having a Lu Lin Sheng Erhu promotion for our mailing list subscribers which is ending pretty soon. If you are interested to know more, please join our mailing list by filling up the form on the top right hand corner of this page.