If you are from the Canton region, it is most likely that you have heard of the lullaby tune, Yuet Kwong Kwong (月光光) hummed to you as an infant. When the Eastern Moon is Over the Western Sky (東月西城) is a new commissioned work based on this very tune, and is scored for a treble choir, orchestra and solo piano by the award-winning Hong Kong composer Steve Ho (何崇志).
The piece portrays a sojourner who is struck by the beauty of the mid-autumn moon rising from the east. Inexplicably, memories and fragments of a childhood lullaby flood his mind. All at once the music transports him back home. The ensuing theme in the middle section is derived from the lullaby by inversion. The inverted theme suggests flavors of a foreign land where the lullaby is sadly no longer recognizable. It is as though the sojourner is looking at the same moon but finds himself in an inverted land. The lullaby finally returns in its original form sung by the children’s voices, just like how he remembers it.
Steve Ho is best known for his soundtracks for the hugely popular animated movie, “My Life as McDull”, which won the Best Original Film Score Award in the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2001. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ho migrated to Canada like many Hong Kongers back in the 1980s. This “homesick” sentiment of his as depicted in this new work, is strikingly coherent among many Chinese who live abroad.
Featured at the piano is renowned Hong Kong pianist, Warren Lee (李偉安), Steinway Artist and recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award (2012) and an Associateship by the Royal Academy of Music (2015). In addition to his role at the keyboard, he is also the Music Director of the prestigious St. Paul’s Co-educational College and Primary School in Hong Kong, and will be leading an entourage of 100 young performers from the school to present an evening of chamber, choral and orchestral music at St. John’s Smith Square on July 15, including the much-anticipated world première of Ho’s new work.
When |7:30pm on 15 July 2015
Where | St. John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
Ticket | £8 (£5 concessions) available through http://www.sjss.org.uk