Hi! I'm Reylon.
I'm a musician hailing from San Francisco, California. I've been studying and performing yangqin for fourteen years under Yangqin Zhao and Gangqin Zhao from Melody of China and Professor Huang He from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. As a biracial Chinese American, I cherish the opportunities I've had to stay connected to my heritage through music.
I recently graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy and a secondary in East Asian Studies. My mission is to support socially engaged artists and work to create the cultural conditions needed to build sustainable communities. In my free time, I enjoy practicing wushu, making short films, and discovering the many things I can learn from the people around me.
I am incredibly grateful for the guidance of my mentors at the Chinese American International School, the International High School, and Harvard.
About Yangqin (扬琴)
The yangqin (pronounced "yahng-cheen"), also known as the Chinese hammered dulcimer or the "butterfly instrument," is a percussive string instrument that evolved from the Persian santur after it traveled to China along the Silk Road and maritime trade routes during the Qing dynasty, about 400 years ago. The yangqin is the youngest of the traditional Chinese instruments, and, in fact, it has only been considered Chinese since the early 1950s. Originally, "yang" meant "foreign." But shortly after the Communist Revolution in 1949, the Chinese orchestra was standardized to help create a unified national identity. The character "yang" was swapped for another "yang" with the same pronunciation but a different meaning: "raise." This is how the yangqin transformed from a foreign instrument into a Chinese instrument. Its "traditionalization" was a side effect of China's modernization.