O Lu Wang Ji
(Innocent Seagulls)


The tune O Lu Wang Ji was composed during the Qin dynasty. There is another tune "Wang-Ji" which was composed by Liu Zhifang during the Song dynasty (960-1279). These two tunes are different, but both of them were based on a fable from the Lei Zi, Huang Di. The word "Ji" means looking for opportunity or the idea of scheming to take advantage of others. "Wang Ji" means to forget or abandon the idea of trying to put something over on others. "O Lu" refers to "the seagulls" in the following story: There was an old fisherman who sailed the ocean. The seagulls were so used to him that they flew so close that he could pet them. Later on, his wife noticed this and one day when he came home, she said to him " Why don't you bring one or two seagulls back with you, so that I can also enjoy looking at them?" So the next day, the fisherman went back to the ocean to try to see if he could catch some seagulls. But somehow, as soon as he had this idea, the seagulls all flew too high and never come down to him as before. This story tells us that an opportunistic mind can be sensed by others and that if we do not harbor such thoughts, we can live in harmony with nature and others.

鷗鷺忘機,產生於清代,另有一曲“忘機”為宋代琴家劉志方所作。兩曲是完全不同的曲子,但都是根据【列子】黃帝中的一則故事之寓意作成此兩首琴曲。故事原文如下:有海翁者,常遊海上,群鳥習而狎焉。其妻知之,抵暮還家,謂翁曰,鷗鳥可娛,盍攜一二歸玩之。至旦往,則群鷗高飛不下矣。

【五知齋琴譜】(成於1721年)的後記中對此曲有解題:海日朝暉,滄江夕照,群鳥眾和,翱翔自得。此曲所要表達之意境除了描述海鳥飛翔海空,混然忘機之自然景色外,也在于讚美一種純善之心,不存害人利己之念,這個世界才會自然和諧。

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