Tchaikovsky on Gamelan


The gamelan was initially introduced to the HANDS PERCUSSION TEAM in mid-2007 as an addition to their repertoire of percussive mediums. The main purpose was to explore the gamelan’s creative and rhythmic artistry, inspiring HANDS to push musical boundaries not only rhythmically, but also melodically.

Tchaikovsky on Gamelan is an epilogue to the contemporary music exploration that the HANDS PERCCUSSION GAMELAN GROUP experienced throughout their gamelan journey and a path which all involved, would like to see get into the national as well as international performing arts scene.

To our knowledge, the sole artist to have musically adapted Tchaikovsky’s ballet in this manner was the infamous jazz maestro, Duke Ellington, and it was on The Nutcracker Suites. Following in his footsteps, or at least we would like to think so, the late Mr.Ellington has inspired us to strive in the name of curiosity about Western organised music.

The adaptations are arranged by the players themselves, with guidance from the HANDS creative team and guest consultant Mr.Paul Philbert, renowned timpanist and ex-principal timpanist in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), who is now based in London.

Through the eyes of our Artistic Director, the performance will portray the romanticism of the selected Tchaikovsky’s ballet repertoires performed by the edgy sounds of the melodic gamelan. The choreography will be presented through visuals with 3D effects and graphic displays based on fine art elements such as calligraphy which will be projected on cloth, together with integrated experimental stage lighting.

What you will see is a kind of musical filigree horology through the mediums of sight and sounds by union of the finest performance techniques with discrete designs.

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