Hands Percussion gamelan performance in tribute to late Malaysian theatre icon Krishen Jit (VIDEO)

Gamelan meets Chinese lion drums in Hands Percussion’s ‘Taksu.’ — Picture courtesy of Thum Chia Chieh
Gamelan meets Chinese lion drums in Hands Percussion’s ‘Taksu.’ — Picture courtesy of Thum Chia Chieh

PETALING JAYA, Sept 24 — Malaysian drumming and musical group Hands Percussion are breathing new life into Malaysian traditional music and art with their upcoming gamelan theatre performance Taksu.

Following Hands’ previous gamelan concerts Ri Yue Chu Yin in 2011 and Tchaikovsky on Gamelan in 2014, Taksu will witness the Chinese lion drum known as “shigu” conversing with Malay and Balinese gamelan.

The group is under the guidance and artistic direction of I Wayan Sudirana, one of Bali’s most gifted musicians and Malaysian actor, director and writer Ghafir Akbar.

Sudirana serves as composer and music director while Ghafir directs Taksu, which also pays tribute to the late Datuk Krishen Jit, an iconic figure in the arts community who will be remembered for his impact on Malaysian theatre.

The Malaysian academic, historian, theatre activist and writer first introduced gamelan theatre to Hands back in 2005 at the Five Arts Centre’s production Monkey Business.

It inspired Hands artistic director Bernard Goh in 2007 to take a risk with Chaos in Unison where performers became storytellers who revealed their emotions during the performance.

Malaysian dancer Zamzuriah Zahari brings a touch of Kelantanese tradition to the show. — Picture courtesy of Thum Chia Chieh
Malaysian dancer Zamzuriah Zahari brings a touch of Kelantanese tradition to the show. — Picture courtesy of Thum Chia Chieh

Taksu

promises to take audiences on a musical journey based on literary works that reflect the ancient Balinese concept of the spirit of the arts believed to exist naturally in a person and cannot be quantified.

The Balinese believe divine inspiration plays a part in the spirit of the arts, motivating an artist to perform.

On top of Sudirana’s metallic tones of Malay and Balinese gamelan coupled with the shigu’s wide-varying range of timbre sounds, dancers Mat Din Hussin and Zamzuriah Zahari will bring a touch of Kelantanese tradition.

They will also be accompanied by erhu player Lim Wei Siong and choral group La Voce.

Catch Taksu from October 4 to 6 at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac).

Tickets are priced at RM88, RM138, RM 188 and RM238. Call 03-40479000 or visit klpac.org to purchase.

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