Nigel Wood and Hong Kong saxophonist Kevin Ling have been involved in numerous musical collaborations in the UK and Hong Kong. In 2011, Kevin commissioned Nigel to write a new work for the less common combination of sopranino saxophone and piano, and this piece is the result of that commission.
The title “Man-Mou” was inspired by the two types of Cantonese Opera plays. “Mou” plays emphasise war, conflict and strife. In contrast, “Man” plays tend to be gentler, more elegant and poetic. “Man-Mou'” is not intended to be programmatic or imitative of Cantonese Opera, rather an evocation of the myriad of musical styles and instruments (both Western and Eastern) that have influenced Cantonese music.
The ornaments are only suggestions, allowing the performer to embellish in a quasi improvisatory style. After a brief introduction, the main theme (Man), a coquettish, lyrical melody follows. This evolves into a more tense, jazz/funk section (Mou). A restorative calm leads to a peaceful ending. Although originally intended for the sopranino sax, Nigel also created a Bb saxophone part, allowing this piece to be played successfully on any saxophone.
“Man-Mou”was premièred at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress.
The E-Edition PDF bundle includes Bb and Eb saxophone parts, piano accompaniment and an MP3 play-along practice track.
“Man-Mou” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.