Interview Guzheng

My first steps in China

Kunming, China. Chang Kay Yi, a Guzheng player, introduces her instrument and its place in contemporary China.

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The Story


Most of the objects that surround me come from you, yet I don’t know you. 

Where to begin ? How do I connect with your people ? 

Music could be a way. 


Kunming, here I am. A stranger who doesn’t know anyone and can’t speak chinese I am quickly taken by this vibrant city, the mix of modernity and tradition, the influence of Taoism and Buddhism...

I should not lose track of my goal. I search for a traditional instrument store and find one. The seller has a beautiful collection of instruments and I try one, the Pipa, a direct cousin of the Oud. It’s impossible to play it. The Ruan sounds pretty good, but I'm probably butchering it with my Western style. I best stay within my limits. I ask the seller if he knows a Pipa player. And by chance he does - his neighbor, the charismatic Mei Ling...

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