Hands Percussion’s Kaleidoscope concert series, one of the biggest drum events in Malaysia, returns for its fifth edition at Pentas 1, KLPac from Aug 2-5.
Unbeatable – Kaleidoscope 5 Hands International Drumming Festival 2018 packs a solid punch with a line-up of local and international acts, including guests like Abbos Kosimov (Uzbekistan), Ben Walsh ( Australia) and the U-Hee Company (South Korea). Local acts include the Hands Percussion teams (Hands 1 and 2), Tan Su Yin, Mat Din, Prakash Kandasamy and the Dhol Alliance together with Syrian musician Majd Hass.
Composer Yuan Leow Yun handles the music on the Unbeatable piece, while the epic performances will be choreographed by Arifwaran Shaharuddin (Hands 1) and Kathyn Tan (Hands 2).
The theme for this year’s festival is “Unbeatable”, which Hands Percussion’s artistic director Bernard Goh says draws parallels as to how so many Malaysians made a decision to step up and make a change at the historic GE14 elections.
“There were so many examples of unity, sacrifice and perseverance. People embraced their differences and worked together to make a difference,” says Goh in a recent interview in KL.
“With Hands Percussion, we want to nurture and celebrate these values. We need to build a progressive society that is unbeatable,” he adds.
Goh, who co-founded Hands with Eric Ch’ng in KL in 1997, wants the festival to keep on introducing diverse kinds of music to the audience.
“With all the performers involved, both locally and internationally, people will have a chance to know more about different cultures.”
This biennial festival started out as a student concert in 2006. It has now evolved into a two part event – a student concert and an international drumming festival. The Unbeatable – Kaleidoscope 5 Hands International Drumming Festival 2018 performances are divided into two programmes.
Programme A (Aug 2-3) will see performances by the U-Hee Company, Dhol Alliance, the Hands 1 and Hands 2 outfits, while a new piece called Unbeatable will be performed by Tan Su Yin, Mat Din, Prakash Kandasamy and Majd Hass.
Programme B (Aug 4-5) will feature performances from Kosimov, Walsh alongside Hands 1 and Hands 2.
Kaleidoscope 5 will also feature workshops conducted by both Hands Percussion and the guest artistes.
These workshops will be held at the Skyroom, Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 4-5.
On the list is a masterclass by Kosimov on Aug 4. This workshop is open to all percussionists. It will cover traditional Uzbek and Tajik rhythms as well as solo and composition ideas. Kosimov, who played a concert at Royal Albert Hall in London last month, is globally recognised as a master of doyra (frame drum with metal rings).
Further on the Asian front, a traditional Samulnori workshop by the U-Hee Company is also scheduled on Aug 4. This workshop will cover traditional Talchum, a Korean dance performed while wearing a mask and driven by janggu (slim waist drum) percussion.
On Aug 5, Ben Walsh, one of Australia’s accomplished percussionists, will be conducting a childrens’ percussion workshop. This will be followed by an introduction to dhol (Indian double-headed drums) percussion by KL’s the Dhol Alliance on the same day. This workshop will include an introduction to dhol history, basic dhol rhythms and playing skills.
The percussion workshops on Aug 4 are priced at RM90 and those on Aug 5 are priced at RM60. The student concert, which is an integral part of the festival, will be held at Istana Budaya later this year.
Unbeatable – Kaleidoscope 5 Hands International Drumming Festival 2018 is on at Pentas 1, KLPac Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Kuala Lumpur. Performance dates are Aug 2-5. Tickets are priced at RM108, RM148, RM188 and RM228. The workshops will be happening at the Skyroom, Federal Hotel, Bukit Bintang in KL on Aug 4-5. FB: Hands Percussion Malaysia. More details: www.ticketpro.com.my.