Experimentation has always been at the foundation on which Hands Percussion have crafted their performances, and gamelan has come to play an increasingly central role in their repertoire. The award-winning drum troupe is one of the finest in Malaysia’s performing arts sphere, founded some 22 years ago by Artistic Director Bernard Goh to focus initially on the traditional 24 Festive Drums – a style based on the multitude of festivals in the lunar calendar.
Never one to rest on their laurels, the group have pushed boundaries and captivated with performances that incorporate sounds from around the world. This month, as part of the Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, they offer up Taksu, a performance that weaves together the wide varying timbre sounds of the shigu (Chinese lion drum) and gamelan – the traditional ensemble music across Indonesia and Malaysia.
Taksu is a musical adaptation of literary work reflecting the ancient Balinese concept of the spirit of the arts that exists naturally in a person. It is believed that divine inspiration plays a part in it, and that which motivates the artist to perform. Under the direction of renowned Balinese composer I Wayan Sudirana, Hands seeks to translate the essence of this spirit into the performance.
Traditional music and dance of Kelantanese influence by Mat Din Hussin and Zamzuriah Zahari, will add richness and flavour to the performance as do the vocal harmonies of choral group, La Voce. Also gracing the show will be Gamelan Yuganada, a Balinese gamelan and performing arts group focusing on traditional and contemporary Balinese music and dance.
Together, this colourful group of performers will deliver a show set to elevate and embody that indescribable essence of Spirit the Balinese call Taksu.
WHERE Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 8.30pm (4-5 Oct), 3pm (5-6 Oct)
TEL 03 4047 9000