Dialogue in Skin: South East Asia Music, Contemporary Percussion Comes to Tbilisi theater international festival on September 30th.
CAST: Jimmy Ch’ng, Ng Siu Yee, Jack Wan, Leong Kah Miu, Tee Leong Hoe, Tee Wee Lin, Phang Jian Hao, Goh Kok Wei, Yeap Eng Zheong.
Hands Percussion – The Story: In 1997 Bernard Goh, formed the HANDS PERCUSSION group, becoming its Artistic Director. With a small team of full-time performers HANDS began a journey of a lifetime. Despite the challenges of being a self-funded group they are now a crowd- favorite at local performing arts venues, with a steadily growing reputation locally and internationally. HANDS functions on a mechanism which works and clearly shows an awareness of responsibilities, discipline, self-motivation and passion for their art.
Beginning with the traditionally loud 24 Festive Drums drumming style, they have now experimented with other styles, instruments and technology creating multidisciplinary productions. This led to their debut gamelan concert ‘RI YUE CHU YIN’ in 2011. Two of their notably “explosive” productions are ‘The NEXT’ (2012) and ‘Tchaikovsky in Gamelan’ (2014) where they pushed creative and musical boundaries.
The group has travelled to Bali Sprit Festival and Los Angeles for a live jamming session at SuperEverything* with The Light Surgeons (UK) in 2016. In 2015, they performed at The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland and at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur and visited other festivals worldwide.
‘Dialogue in Skin’ uses eastern astrology elements of earth, water, metal and fire to tell the story of a musician through his instruments. The art of handling and playing instruments lies with the performer and his ability to relate his experiences through them. Drummers use their physical and emotional senses to manipulate the Chinese drums, the Gamelan, Chinese cymbals and the Japanese drums in conversations from the heart. A combination of artistry and material is explored in ‘Armour and Skin’ where the Chinese drums and the Gamelan have a lively “conversation”. Techniques employed in this production highlight the development in contemporary Chinese drumming and innovation of traditional music. In a culturally rich Malaysia, HANDS grew up on diversity where Indian, Malay and Chinese cultures greatly influenced their music and performances. Travels to various Southeast Asian and European countries have also added unique layers to these performances.