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Father Son & Violin (5)

湘悟 (窟燕晩豚:2009-04-09 09:16:20 堋響繁肝:1610 指鹸方:0)

  CHAPTER Five: I Want to Play Violin

For being able to touch violin join the Mao propaganda team

1968, after the astounding Cultural Revolution had been going on for two years, the schools re-opened. It was called ^restart school to do revolution ̄.

Danjin entered Changsha No 3 Middle School (used to be ^The Clear Virtue Boy¨s School). I however, entered Changsha No 4 Middle School (used to be ^The Zhou Nan Girs¨s School)

There were over 30 students in our class; among them boys were only 6. Therefore it wouldn¨t be too hard to imagine my popularity in the class. However, not long after being elected as the class leader of I lost my interest to the class affairs, but fixed my eyes on the School Mao Propaganda Team. (Mao Propaganda Team is a selected group of people who praise Mao and his thoughts by means of singing and dancing) The reason was simple; besides that admirable gray uniform I discovered a violin, a-n-d that charming little girl with a small nose named Ma who plays on the violin.

My mind was made. I want to join the School Mao Propaganda Team.

I talked to teacher Lao who was in charge of the team. (Later Lao played a very influential roll to my music career) Teacher Lao asked me, ^What can you do?"

^Anything, as far as I can publicize Mao and his thoughts. ̄ That¨s what I said. But what I thought was, ^Anything, as far as I can touch the violin. ̄

Lao smiled, ^If anything can publicize Mao and his thoughts, you do not need to join the Team. ̄ Before I pleading further he walked away from me for some ^urgent matter ̄ as he said.

The first semester of my middle school, I was often being together with those who were good at singing and dancing outside of the school during the school time. I also started to practice bamboo flute that was the only music instrument I possessed. That resulted me from the class head to the class tail by the end of the school semester.

The second semester started at last. At the new team member¨s audition, I said to teacher Lao this time, ^please don¨t ask me `what you can do?¨ but ask me `What have you learnt?¨ ̄

^That¨s better. ̄ Lao smiled again, better smiled. ^OK, show us. ̄

After singing and dancing, I play the bamboo flute.

Lao¨s comment was that my singing and dancing were good but not enough, only the flute sounded somehow interesting, but the pity was I held my flute towards left which is opposite direction to the western flute, that means it would be difficult if I wanted to learn western flute later. In addition there was already a good bamboo flute player named Chan in the Team. That all appeared to be hopeless to me, again, for one more semester.

A few days later, the names of the new Mao Propaganda Team (from now on let me call it Mao Team) member were posted on the wall at the school entrance. To avoid being hurt again I dared not to check it up. Beyond my expectation when I quietly entered my classroom from the back door the whole class congratulated me. The new class leader Xiao Ping even said, ^This is not Chen Danjiu¨s honor only, but the honor of the whole class. ̄

The fact was that teacher Lao worked on Chan Flute (his nick name) saying it would be good to have one more flute so that he could concentrate on Sola (a very noisy Chinese traditional music instrument) in addition he could help doing more administration works as a prospective leader of the Team. It must be the final words ^prospective leader of the Team ̄ worked, as Chan Flute had been a competitive rival of the present leader Captain Lee.

And one more fact I also found was I was accepted to be the Team member not because of my flute playing skill but my passion to join the Team. Teacher Lao was absolutely right about my passion, but not my purpose of joining the Team.

The first thing I tried to do after I got into the Mao Team was to get close to Ma, the little violin girl. The main reason was not the girl but the violin in her hands obviously, obviously in my mind but not others minds, for instance every time when we go out to give a performance, I always offered my help to carry her violin by excuse ^my flute is too light. ̄ But Chan Flute had always reserved such a luxury task in advance. Ma apparently did not get my real purpose of ^helping ̄ her. One day when Chan Flute was close to us she made her announcement, ^I have no interesting in bamboo flutes, no matter what kinds, they all country bumpkins. ̄ She made it loud enough so Chan Flute could share with me. Chan Flute and me were both hurt, in different aspects of course.

^No big deal, someday I will learn to play the violin, as good as you, may be even better than you. ̄ I thought, not said.

In spite of her unfriendly attitude I still worked hard to keep our amity. When she realized my interesting was more her violin than her, she got relaxed in one-way and disappointed in another. She was like all women, don¨t have to like all men, but must be liked by all men. For that, we became closer and closer. Sometimes I could even feel her intension of capturing me as the prison of her loveliness as a girl. By that accident I learnt if a man wants to get a particular woman, never make her fully contented, unless one dose not really want to get her at first place. Anyway that great discovery was too early to me. For me the only desire at that time was to touch a violin, not a woman.

Everything seamed working OK until one day I got myself into a big trouble. That day, we gave a performance in a factory. After arrival Chan Flute put Ma¨s violin on a table and walked away to help doing organizing works. And meanwhile Ma was busy in a dressing room. Seeing nobody around, I lost my power of resisting the temptation of touching the violin. I meticulously opened the violin case and took the violin out. My heart was biting more quickly than each time I finished a sports competition. Yet not until I put the bow on the string, I saw worker¨s Representative Chuan (by that time, it was the workers from factories were in charge of all schools, not the professors, teachers nor administrators of the school.) walking towards me. I hid the violin on my back immediately. That action certainly did not escape from the clear eyes of the working class. The Representative Chuan kept walking approaching me as he asked, ^ What is in your hands? ̄ I countermarched myself once, twice and again three times I felt my body was against the wall, of course with the violin in between. I heard ^Pa ̄ jangle sound. ^Oh my God! ̄ But it was all too late. I took the violin out from hiding, realized the sound was coming out from the bridge broken.

With the bad news ^the violin is broken ̄ spread Ma rushed out from the dressing room, ^Who allowed you to touch my violin. You think you deserve that? Never! You, country bumpkin! ̄ And then she looked at the half broken bridge in my hand and the loose strings on her violin, wept, ^Now what? Now what? ̄

Through I found Ma¨s contempt language towards me in public very offensive, but I felt much balanced, as I knew my wrongdoing was huge.

Meantime almost all Team members were there around us, blamed me one after another, among them the most aggressive Chan Flute. He pointed at my nose as he accused, ^You did it on purpose. ̄

After heard that Representative Chuan¨s spirit raised up, ^That¨s right, to break the tool of publicize mao¨s thoughts intentionally, is anti-revolution behavior. We should convoke the criticize meeting right away. ̄

^That¨s right! ̄

^Let¨s do it. ̄

Team members echoed.

Teacher Lao who kept quiet all the time opened his mouth at this point, ^For sure Chen should be criticized. But, we are here to give a performance. We should publicize Mao¨s thoughts first. Representative Chuan, the working classes are all waiting for us. How about move the criticize meeting after the performance. ̄

^But without violin how can I play the violin solo part of the ballet `The White Hair Woman¨. ̄ Ma started to cry out.

^Use bamboo flute to replace it. No violin solo I can dance as well. ̄ a sweet voice of a girl.

Everybody turned eyes toward that voice. The owner of the voice is called Lu Ying; the prettiest girl in the Team, also the girl who plays the main roll of the ballet ^The White Hair Woman. ̄ She usually likes to chat with me in free time during rehearsals, particularly likes to cut in when I am with Ma along. She smiled towards everybody, and again toward me, repeated, ^I can dance as well with bamboo flute. The White Hair Woman was a country bumpkin too. Everybody, please get ready. ̄

^That¨s impossible! ̄ Captain Lee shouted with the voice out of tune. Captain Lee chasing after Lu Ying was already an open secret. He looked as if he wanted to say more but was shut up by Lu Ying¨s one eyesight. That scene made Ma cry even worse than the broken violin.

What a disaster!

It was many years later I realized there was a little circle going on there, Chan after Ma, Ma after Lee, Lee after Lu, Lu after me, me after Ma¨s violin.

At that night, the performance went as usual. When it came to violin solo part, I replaced it with my bamboo flute. Lu threw her smiles at me a couple of times while she was dancing. I of course politely smiled back to express my gratitude to her. All those small actions were closely watched by Captain Lee and Ma.

After the performance and before the night meal the criticizing meeting was held. Chan Flute followed Representative Chuan¨s order to take me to a separate room. He said to me ruthlessly, ^This is your last day. Waite to be dismissed. ̄

I waited there for a short while, thinking, ^If I have no more chance to touch the violin, it wouldn¨t be a big deal to be fired. Actually, what is the point to wait to be fired, better walk away right now? ̄ I guess I stayed there instead of walking away was because of the expectation of that free bowl of noodle.

Unexpectedly the one who came to take me back to the meeting room was Ma. She suddenly turned to be friendly to me as she asked me a peculiar question, ^You also like Lu Ying? ̄

^What do you mean by `ALSO¨? ̄ I did not get her meaning behind the sentence. Did she mean, ^Lu Ying likes you. You also like Lu Ying? ̄ or ^Somebody likes Lu Ying, You also like Lu Ying? ̄ or perhaps both? Ma did not answer my counter-question, just smiled and smiled, saying, ^For the violin, it is alright this time, but be careful next time. ̄

Do I have a next time? That¨s wonderful!

When we walked to the doorway of the meeting room, Chan Flute was waiting for us there. Ma said she needed to have a few words with Chan and asked me to get into the meeting room first.

The ^court ̄ was ready to start. Be frankly the atmosphere was somewhat scaring for everyone one was so serious. Chan Flute jumped up as the first speaker. I was waiting to be scolded. Surprisingly he started to self-criticize by saying ^it was my fault too. I should have put the violin personally in classmate Ma¨s hand. I failed to do so. That is an irresponsible attitude towards the weapon of publicizing Mao¨s thoughts. Therefore I apologize. ̄

Followed the Captain Lee's attitude was even higher than Chan Flute, ^I, as the captain of the Team´ ̄ so on and so forth.

Followed was Ma¨s turn to apologize. And then all Team members apologized one after another, even Teacher Lao.

Lu Ying was the only one did not apologize. What the pretty princess said was, ^Let¨s forget the whole thing as far as Chen Danjiu promise never touch the violin again. ̄ She paused, and added, ^I suggest from now on using the bamboo flute replace the violin solo just like we did today. ̄

^That¨s impossible! ̄ Captain Lee remarked, meant, ^How can bamboo flute replace the violin solo?^

^That¨s impossible! ̄ I also shouted, meant, ^How can I promise never touch the violin again? ̄

I looked at Lu Ying in a mixed feeling, about to make my speech. In my speech I wanted to declare that if I was not allowed to touch the violin any more I might as well quit the Team. But at exact that key point an exciting voice was heard, ^the noodles are ready."

Representative Chuan stood up first like a released spring. Teacher Lao asked him as I was the last speaker, ^should we let Chen finish his saying before eating... ̄

Representative Chuan did not wait Lao finishing his saying, ^Give him a little more time to think the whole thing over. We should not let one person¨s mistake influence the whole Team. The good health is the capital of revolution. Comrades, towards dining hall, rush! ̄

I immediately jumped up after Representative Chuan. Sadly Chuan turned his head to me and said, ^ not you. You stay here go on self-questioning. ̄

However, afterwards I had not only noodle to eat, but also more meat in it than anybody¨s, because that bowl was specially made for the main actress Lu Ying.

As I pointed out above, there was a dramatic relation circle going on in the Team. The bumpkin Chan Flute was in love with the noblest Ma; the noblest Ma admired the tall and handsome Captain Lee; Captain Lee was crazy about the beautiful Lu Ying; Lu Ying liked to make fun of me, ^a man full of passion and energy ̄ as she remarked; But I was only obsessed by Ma¨s violin. To reverse the circle, Chan Lute hated Captain Lee for Ma; Ma was jealous about Lu for Captain Lee; Captain Lee was sick of me for Lu; Lu disliked Ma¨s violin.

After that incidence, Ma changed her attitude towards me completely. During rehearsal, she often prepared something like a small towel or cup of drink, asking me to pass it to Lu Ying in front of captain Lee. In return she would allow me to play her violin. Sometimes when my violin playing appearance was too awful to look at she even took the trouble to teach me a little bit.

One day after the rehearsal, only Ma and me left in the room. She again let me play her violin. After I finished a tune. Applause with ^bravo ̄ waked me from infatuating. That was teacher Lao. Before I could hide the violin, Lao praised, ^Your progress is really quick. You will be a good violin player for sure in the near future. ̄ At the same time Lao showed me a huge book, the western violin method  ̄Hahmann ̄. ^You may borrow it later when you need it. But you must promise to take very good care of it. ̄ Then Lao put his finger against his lips meaning, ^This is a secret only within the three of us. ̄

Lao added, ^Practice more and harder. We are applying some money from the school to buy new instruments. When you are good enough, we plan to buy a new violin for Ma. By that time, this violin will be for you to use. ̄

Lao¨s words encouraged me tremendously. I was wordless, but felt an enormous hope in ahead of me.

By then I understood that Ma let me play on her violin was not only repaying me for the things she asked me to do to Lu Ying so that Captain Lee might give up Lu for her, but also for the new violin Lao promised her.

The Palace of Art

The bad news was the school decided to delay the money to Mao Team for one semester. Thus Ma¨s fever of helping me to play the violin dropped abruptly.

One day as soon as the rehearsal ended Ma hurried out with her violin. I intercepted her at the doorway and asked, ^Why in such hurry? ̄

^Don¨t bother me, I¨ll be late. ̄ Ma pushed me away and ran out.

^Where to go? ̄ I asked again to her back.

^That¨s a secrets. ̄ Ma answered without turning her head back.

It was that ^secret ̄ aroused my curiosity. I could not help tailing after her. I hid myself every three or five steps. In fact that was unnecessary, because Ma was too busy running to look back. After following her for a while I saw her went into a side door beside a Christian church. I stopped in front of the church, hesitated if I should follow her in, as in China by that time churches ware similar to temples, both belonging to the Four Olds. Seeing nobody around, I kept my heart biting under control and took the courage to walk closer to the church.

The main gate of the church was sealed with red paper seals. As the seals were old and ragged therefore difficult to confirm it was which revolutionary organization¨s revolutionary activity. I stood there, raised my head looking up to the church top, wondered the existence of God. It was at that moment, I heard some sound from the God! The sound, so soft so harmonious so beautiful so elegant so touching and moving, that I had never heard in my entire little life. My ears led my feet to the side door beside the Church. I walked into the door, following the sound I found behind the Church there was an old one-stored house, the sound, sound of two violins came out from the house.

I squatted down by the window devouringly enjoyed the music. After a while I felt the timing stopped, my soul separated from my body drifting freely in the endless universe. Without knowing how long that music stopped. Hence I heard a conversation between Ma and a man. That gentle conversation and the sincere mirth were also a novelty to me.

When I heard Ma said ^Goode bye ̄ in English immediately I ran away.

Afterwards, I tailed after Ma to the Church quite a few times. Later, I discovered besides Ma there were others too with violins went into the side door beside the church. I was like being addicted, often waited somewhere close to the church for people to get into the side door. And then I would enjoy myself quite a while under the window outside. One day I must caught a cold that I could not help sneezing. The window opened. A kind smile of a middle-aged man stopped me from running away.

^If you like to listen you may come in, though the room is a bit small. It¨s terribly cold out there. ̄ The man said to me.

His name is Li Zeng Tao, used to be a priest before the Cultural Revolution. He was the teacher of almost all the young violin players in my city at that period of time. He certainly became the first of my violin teachers.

The teenage man having a lesson was called Wang Shi Yi, a son of a professor in Hunan Medical College, used to be and now Yell University. By that time, just like all other professors his father was also not teaching at classrooms but working in the hospital, sweeping floors and cleaning toilets. Wang Shi Yi later became one of my best violin pals.

That day, after Wang¨s lesson Li Zeng Tao opened his treasure, a manual gramophone. Li put a record on the gramophone wonderful violin music came out. That was the first time in my life I heard Chrysler`s magic performance ^The Rosemary ̄. After that Li told me a word that was also first time in my life ^Christmas ̄. Yes, that was a Christmas Eve. Li played the ^Silent Night ̄ with his violin, and followed a piano tune ^富溺議畷技 ̄. The whole scene was far away from the reality. To me Li¨s violin sound came from another world, a world totally different from the violent brutal Cultural Revolution. That violin sound made me drunk, made me crazy. To use a not appropriate but very accurate figure of speech, I was drugged.

On the way home, I walked shoulder to shoulder with Wang Shi Yi. (It was not exactly shoulder-to-shoulder as Wang was one head taller than me.) Wang told me that because teacher Li was very kind and never offended anyone, no body gave his a hard time. Though the church was sealed, it needed someone to take care of. That¨s why no body fussy about teacher Li went in from the back door to do some cleaning work from time to time.

After Wang got aware about my desire of learning the violin but possessed no instrument, he told me he knew someone named Zhou had the knowledge of making violins. ^Once I watched your school¨s performance. ̄ Wang suddenly changed subject, ^The girl who dances the roll as the `White Hair Woman¨ looks, looks, hen, not bad. ̄

^Her name is Lu Ying, a very good friend of mine. ̄ I said proudly.

^Good on you. ̄ Wang laughed, dry and jealously, ^You know what, master Zhou is also a very good friend of mine. ̄

^OK, you introduce me to master zhou, I introduce you to Lu. How is that?" I raised my head looking at him jokily. He immediately stretched out his little finger. When two little fingers bundled a dirty business deal was made.

The first violin of mine

According to the deal, I invited Wang to watch our rehearsal at school.

^How dare you chase me up here? ̄ Ma was very surprised to see Wang there.

^No misunderstanding Xiao Mao, I¨m not here for you today. It is your Teammate Chen dragged me here to see his rehearsal. ̄ Wang quickly explained.

Wang and Ma both took violin lessons with Li naturally they knew each other well. But by the way Wang calling Ma¨s nickname ^Xiao Mao ̄ could mean their relationship be closer than normal, or at least Wang wanted to be closer than normal, whatever was not important to me. But I got to know Ma¨s nickname ^Xiao Mao ̄ that was important to me. Since then whenever something unpleasant happening between us, I would threaten her by calling her ^Xiao Mao ̄ in the public. That often results a favorable compromise.

On that day, Wang¨s pair of eyes was busy circling as much as Lu¨s pair of legs. When the rehearsal finally ended, as usual Lu came to me to ask me looking after her schoolbag while she was changing her clothes. I caught the chance to introduce Wang to her. Suddenly, not knowing why I felt uneasy and somehow ashamed. Having lost something that I had not really possessed, (I had no intention to possess her at first place), or I traded something that I did not possess with someone for something that I wish to possess? I guess when people are young and naive, they all would do anything stupid to get what they desperately want.

^My mane is Wang. I have been a faithful fan of yours for a long time. ̄ Wang bowed to Lu as he introduced himself. At the same time he quickly swallowed his slobbers caused by lose of control.

Lu raised her head to take a look at Wang. Then she dragged me to a corner and bit my ear, ^So tall, will the rationed fabric ticket enough for him? ̄ After the comment of her first impression Lu nodded her head greeting Wang and went to change her clothes with laughter.

^What did she say to you, anything about me? ^ Wang asked me anxiously.

^Nothing important. ̄ I tried to get away.

^Tell me quickly, otherwise ´ ̄

I knew what his ^otherwise ̄ was. Otherwise he would not introduce me to master Zhou.

It was not that I was not good at making stories. In fact I have always been quite good at it. It was just that I was not used to replace truth with stories, or perhaps not willing to do so. Therefore I told Wang the truth, the absolute truth whole truth nothing else, ^She said you were so tall, how could the rationed fabric ticket be enough for you? ̄

(At that time in China, almost everything was rationed. That is to say everything had ticket, rice ticket, oil ticket, tobacco ticket, doufu ticket (bean curd), match ticket etc)

Wang heard that, turned from excitement to sentimental. He expressed his feeling with tears circling in his eyes, ^How kind of her to put thoughts on me, so concretely and so faraway! ̄

Ma kept watching closely to the going on drama all the time. She rewarded me with bright eyesight probably meaning thank me for doing such a good job of ^killing two birds with one stone ̄ for her. And then as always she went to glue Captain Lee with some smart excuses.

On the way to master Zhou¨ s home Wang sang a song loudly. The lyrics ware like, ^I remember that wonderful moment. You appeared at my present, just like an illusion written in water´ ̄ That scene if it were today or in a movie, must be, ^I am in love! ̄

I was not at all in a mood for poetry, on the contrary felt somewhat lost, the only way to recover my feeling was to get to master zhou¨s home as quickly as possible, and watch him making a violin for me at once.

In front of master zhou¨s home, Wang suddenly held me up. He indicated to me, ^You don¨t have to say anything. I will tell master zhou that teacher Li introduced you to see him. Though they have been friends for many years, they dare not to see each other since the Cultural Revolution, therefore master Zhou wouldn¨t find out the truth. ̄ Seeing me looking reluctant, he persuaded, ^Don¨t you worry, this is not the first time I´ ̄

Master Zhou¨s door opened from inside. The first word came out from master Zhou was, ^You must be little Chen. Priest Li told me about you. Come on in please. ̄

Both Wang and me were embarrassed with Zhou¨s unexpected words.

The result of our negotiation was Zhou under the pressure from the society dared not to make violins anymore. The only possibility left was I bring my own wood and borrow his tools and workshop to make one by myself, at least namely by myself.

Back home, I took apart the family¨s only wooden chair with back, with an excuse that there was a crack on the chair already. Followed I took a piece of pinewood from my own bed (actually the bed I shared with Danjin).

Since then everyday I ran to Zhou¨s home after school. Three week passed, under the guidance of master Zhou, or should I say partly under the ^hand ̄ of master Zhou as I cut my forefinger at by the very end of the violin making, a violin shaped wooden box appeared.

At the day of the violin completion, I used my lunch money 20 fen Renminbi to buy a bag of cookie and rushed to Zhou¨s home.

^It¨s not varnished yet. ̄ Zhou said to me as he pushed the bag of cookie back to me.

^Later, Later, I can¨t wait for one minute longer. ̄ I wrapped the violin shaped wooden box with a few used newspapers, and rushed home in a high spirit.

Nobody was home except next-door neighbor Hu MeiMei was at kitchen cooking. I waved my treasured at her excitedly. But Hu MeiMei seamed to be not so interested as she even did not stop cutting her firewood. A short moment later she went into her home and walked out again with a very old violin case, saying, ^Remember my elder brother took the violin from Four Olds trash place? Afterwards the Red Guards smashed the violin, left only the ragged box. ̄

I was so pleased to see the case, ^ Recycle the waste. Recycle the waste. ̄

I repaired the case with violin glue and plastic tapes.

Then I took apart Danjin¨s old broken Er Hu (two stringed Chinese music instrument); put the rusted strings on the violin shaped wooden box, and some rosin on the Er Hu bow. Soon after that my newborn baby made her first crying!

No doubt it was an ugly sound from an ugly violin made by a 14 year-old ugly boy. But, ^THAT WAS MY VIOLIN! ̄

Like that, I moved my first step forward to my life career.


畜 鷹(駅倬)
炎 籾(販吭)
坪 否(1000忖參坪夕頭哈喘鯉塀:[img]夕頭銭俊仇峽[/img])

    翌繁 Foreigner ┯薮塀 
    嚥弌宮斌閥^暢霧忽並 ̄ 
    憧咄ゞ幻徨肺〃14 a 
    哂猟 幻徨肺13 
    哂猟 幻徨肺12 
    Father Son & Violin (10) 
    Father Son & Violins (9) 
    Father Son & Violins (8) 
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    ゞ幻徨肺〃鎗^矢築議社 ̄夕 
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    Father Son and Violin 2 
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