The year is 2157
Wang Armstrong is born in New York , USA . He is descendant of the American Jazz fusion musician Randy Diego . Wang shows an early interest in computer science but ends up entranced by the chinese yang qin instrument . Wang is named after Wang Wu , the famous Chinese musician who was one of the first creators of a new improvised form of music which fused traditional Chinese music with Western influences and improvisation . Wang's father , developed a passion for this Chinese music names "Jing Zi Zi" ( supposedly a slang derived from the chinese word for "semen" ) .
In 2130 in Shanghai there was a new movement in "Jing Zi Zi " , which involved amplified and computerised versions of traditional chinese instruments . This style was very popular but proved controversial , and in 2140 a new generation of chinese musicians had returned to their unamplified traditional instruments , and where helped gain fame and fortune by press / club owners who where older and disliked the new Electric version . In Shanghai the conservative young musicians had created a new scene at the now famous " xiao" club . Just across the street at the " wu shi wu " dive bar , the aging old guard of electronic musicians still performed in depressing surroundings. Amongst them was a younger musician Jang San who was a master electric " erhu" player . He had combined the older electric Jing Zi Zi styles with a new sensibility , greater rhythmic accuracy and concepts based on atonality .
Atonality had long been banned in America by the "Musicians Council" . The council was formed when the American government abolished copyright laws in 2078 . Until then musicians had been able to make a living from streaming their performances and charging micropayments to viewers . The new laws had made these payments effectively illegal . Atonality was considered by musicians as something akin to Heroin use . Extremely enjoyable for the musician participant , but eventually leading to personal destruction and inability to charge for ones streaming service and often starvation . Many American musicians , some "atonal addicts" had fled the dire situation in America and could be found busking in the Chinese Subway's in it's numerous big cities . These buskers often played guitar through battery operated "polytone" amplifiers , complete with battery powered " line 6" delay pedals . Often they would perform American songs written during the "First great depression" of 1930 , much shorter than the depression that started in 2008 . The buskers often played these songs in unusual time-signatures , which like atonality was regarded as a form of "self abuse " and addiction .
Anyway , by 2187 our man Wang Armstrong had become a great "Yang Gin" player . Entranced by the Electronic "Jing Zi Zi" and with his background he traveled to China to pursue knowledge and with a dream of building a better Electrified "Yang Gin " . The Chinese had built an electronic version of the instrument , but it had never been perfected and the company that built it had gone bankrupt during the conservative period of the 2170's . Wang hoped to use his computer skills to build a combined mechanical/computerised version of the instrument . He struggled with the Chinese system of naming rhythmic values based on the old "crotchet" and "quaver" , a relic of the British occupation of Hong Kong in the 20th century .
He made his way to the "wu shi wu" bar , and met the great amplified "erhu" player Jang San . Jang San was welcoming to Armstrong at the bar and gave him his email address . The Chinese still used the ancient " internet" system . America had long disgarded this system in favour of a new system which allowed communication via chip implanted in the armpit . The communist party had finally collapsed in 2140 . It had banned the use of the "armpit" system and internet pornography . With a new democratic government in place , and the loose environment of the 2170's , pornography was suddenly available everywhere on the internet , causing it to nearly collapse .
Wang Armstrong sent numerous emails to Jang San asking for lessons and the opportunity to play together but never received a reply . With the Chinese aging internet system almost collapsing under the weight of illegal downloading of the new chinese porno many emails never made it through . Wang wondered if his email had reached Jang , or if Wang had recieved it and his reply had made it back . Perhaps Jang just didnt really care .. he was more interested in perfecting his exacting rhythmic requirements for his erhu playing .