Siu Yee’s passion for music began at a young age, and her natural abilities enabled her to pick up instruments quickly. Currently the 24 Festive Drum Troupe coach at Tsun Jin High School (Kuala Lumpur), she started to play 24 Festive Drums personally at the age of 14. After beginning with the organ as her first instrument, Siu found percussion instruments to be simpler and a lot more enjoyable as you play with a group of people. Joining HANDS in 2001 as a part-time performer made drumming more challenging and exciting. In 2006, the same year she became a full-timer, Siu and her team members began learning the gamelan.
Currently the Music Director for HANDS she monitors compositions for HANDS’ performance repertoire. In new and upcoming productions Siu Yee plays a pivotal role in musical direction and in the selection of appropriate instruments ensuring quality of the production is at his highest. The latest addition to her list of musical instruments is the marimba. Classes which began in 2014 with Tan Su Yin, former Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) Principal Percussionist, are ongoing. Being one of the original members of HANDS and to learn from and be guided by its founder Bernard all these years, has made becoming the Music Director of HANDS a significant achievement in Siu’s career. It is encouraging and a mark of recognition of her love and aptitude for music and the performing arts.
With many productions over the years, one that holds great memories for this quietly strong lady is ‘The Next’. It showcased a take on the ‘randai dance drama’ a traditional theatre form that originates from the Minangkabau region of Western Sumatra, Indonesia. “I loved the combination of sounds from the gendang, our vocals, our body movements and from the gamelan. It was a very beautiful production with a group of great artists working together”.
Siu has collaborated with performance groups from other countries such as, YAMATO – the drummers of Japan, and THE LIGHT SURGEONS from UK giving her a lot of insight into the performing arts industry locally and internationally. In her latest performance at the Grand Performance Festival with SuperEverything* in Los Angeles, USA in 2016, Siu and team member Jimmy performed at the summer festival on a complex outdoor stage surrounded by water. It was a complex set involving a lot of machines, projection, mics and instruments. SuperEverything is a very special audio-visual work, all about Malaysia. It shows the beauty of Malaysia, explores its multi ethnicity, and showcases everyday living from traditional to modern aspects. Very well received by LA audiences, Siu feels SuperEverything will surely be appreciated by Malaysians as well.