The Seventh Month (first and second movement)
About ten years ago, I wrote a sheng concerto entitled The Seventh Month but this work was not performed. So, I took this year’s ‘Music About China’ concert as an opportunity to put this work on stage. As the work was not performed before and I have got some new ideas and concepts about writing music for Chinese Orchestra after I wrote this piece. So I actually rewrite this work but just kept the original themes. The number of sheng concertos definitely pales by comparison to other instruments. The reason may be that sheng is a rather challenging instrument for composers. When I was rewriting this piece, the first thing I have to figure out was “what not to write”, rather than what “I want to write”. In the end, I combined some musical ideas from both Chinese and Western music, and used minimal elements to develop the two movements, Fire and Floating. The third movement is still in the gestation stage, and I hope it would not take too long in coming. The Seventh Month on the Lunar Calendar is traditionally considered by the Chinese as a time when the spirits come up from the netherworld and roam the earth, because thye Ghost Festival takes place on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month. The co-existence of the living and the dead inspired me to write this piece. Rather than describing the world of phantoms, which I know nothing about, I prefer to express the world of human psyche in this piece.
Sheng and Chinese orchestra
NG Cheuk Yin and Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (2012) / Cheng Ho Kwan Kevin and Singapore Chinese Orchestra (2016)