Chinese Lute

Now with sound

During the half term holiday I finally found the time and inclination to get the Cybercentre’s DV camcorder out of the box, charge it up and read some of the instructions. The upshot of this is that I can now make half decent sized movies which are longer than 16 seconds duration, but much more importantly adding the extra dimension of SOUND. To celebrate this, I planned and directed a short music performance featuring me in the back garden playing a composition on the chinese lute. I was really pleased with the sound quality captured by the built in microphone, but then it took a long time working out how to get the captured video into a format small enough to put online. This would probably have been much easier on Mac with iMovie, but the cybercentre doesn’t have macs and neither do I at home.So the output file which you can download by clicking on the embedded photo here is a 3.6Mb .ASF file using mpeg4 encoding, which should play in Windows Media Player. Please let me know if you can hear it.

You can play too.

The instrument I am playing was purchased in Beijing during a trip I made 4 years ago ( lots of photos on my Yangstse Gorges site ). Known in english simply as “Chinese lute”, they are made in sizes ranging from a huge double bass version right down to a ukulele size. For fun, I made a flash movie based on my lute which has the genuine sound of each string sampled and you can play it by mousing over the drawing of the strings. See above, go on – try it.

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