Home Lifestyle Hands Percussion Unveils Spectacular Blend of Traditional and Contemporary Drumming in RhapsoD

Hands Percussion Unveils Spectacular Blend of Traditional and Contemporary Drumming in RhapsoD

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 NOV – As the final quarter of 2023 approaches, Hands Percussion is gearing up for its fourth production of the year, RhapsoD, a captivating showcase of traditional and contemporary drumming, percussions, and the gamelan. This production promises a unique fusion of talent, featuring professionals, part-timers, trainees, DeafBeat, and young drummers from the Little Yellow Flower Foundation and the Hands Percussion Academy (HPA).

RhapsoD is not just a performance; it’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of the diverse group of drummers involved. Bernard Goh, the founder of Hands Percussion, expressed his excitement about this production, which includes the participation of the Little Flower Foundation orang asli children, HPA students, and even DeafBeat on the gamelan.

“Our goal is to create interest and nurture the growth of our young drummers,” said Bernard. “Teaching goes beyond drumming; it’s about instilling skills like teamwork, adaptability, and problem-solving. RhapsoD is a product of this commitment to education, offering a platform for our students to showcase their skills and realize the rewards of hard work and dedication.”

The production will feature six pieces, each with its own unique flavor. Notable compositions include a Senegalese-inspired piece by Olivier Tarpaga, Jimmy Ch’ng, and Jack Wan, reworking Beethoven’s classic ‘Fur Elise’ by Tan Zhe Hao to explore the rhythms of the gamelan, existing work like ‘Fruition’ presented during HANDS’ 2007 10th anniversary concert and ‘Concurrent Double-Strike’ a truly captivating black, white and bright contemporary composition by Kathyn Tan and the HANDS 2 team, a first-time composition by Goh Kok Wei inspired by the Japanese taiko drums and a specially composed piece for our showstopping little drummers.

Bernard remarked, “The spirit of drumming and the joy of music can bring people together. It’s heartwarming to witness the collaboration of young drummers from different worlds, standing together to create a memorable performance.”

In addition to this, RhapsoD introduces DeafBeat facing a new challenge – learning the gamelan. This adds a unique dimension to the production, highlighting the commitment of both the performers and their coaches.

Hands Percussion invites the media and the public to witness the mesmerizing performance of RhapsoD, an experience that transcends boundaries and celebrates the universal language of drumming.

RhapsoD is an event supported by Arts for All Seasons (ArtsFAS) under Yayasan Hasanah and the Ministry of Finance.

Event Details:

Date & Time:

30/11/23 Thursday 8:00pm

1/12/23 Friday 8:00pm

2/12/23 Saturday 3:00pm

2/12/23 Saturday 8:00pm

3/12/23 Sunday 3:00pm


The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac)

Ticket Categories:

RM88 | RM138 | RM188 | RM238 | RM288

For media inquiries, interviews, or press passes, please contact:

Cloud Lim 019-600 6689



Grandir (which in English means grow) a new composition by Olivier Tarpaga, Zamzuriah, Yuan Leow Yunn, Jimmy Ch’ng and Jack Wan is based on Senagalese rhythms and drumming style, featuring the djembe. Choreographed to symbolize growth or change, it shows how exposure to the right elements and guided by the right hands allows a person, or something to become better, stronger eventually growing into a source of guidance or hope themselves. The process, symbolic of a life cycle. Just like the shell of a drum is usually made from types of wood, which come from trees cared for and grown from little seeds, each life on earth is meant to be cared for and nurtured so that it can do good in return.


Fruition was born out of a culmination of 10 years of experience in performing the art from that we love for thousands of audiences and at various venues, celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2007. It was also to symbolize how we wanted to move forward with more fluidity in our performances. Back then and for the longest time, only our core team was able to perform this piece, it is now time for our new trainees to take the helm. As they take on ‘Fruition’ after 15 years we are reminded that the control and maturity of the relationship between a drummer and his instrument plays a key role in the performance.

Concurrent Double-strike

Choreographed by Kathyn Tan. This is a good piece to demonstrate the presentation of percussion music. From the exploration of sense of hearing, we shall also explore the senses of sight and movement. One too many rules have been broken, as we explore senses of hearing, sight and movement.

We shall ask ourselves:
Percussion music only exists with a musical instrument or an object?
Sound can only be heard? How can action be seen?
Are there commonalities between sound and action?

With these questions in mind, our creative journey explores synesthesia of different senses. And we’ve created some roles, which make their presence felt with their strike.

This is an illusory world where action can be heard, where sound can be seen.

Camaraderie with Elise 

Beethoven’s composition for Elise was a mystery to begin with. There have been many speculations as to who she really was. Nevertheless, the classic piano piece has filled many a household the world over, light and beautiful, instantly recognizable and melancholy all at once, it is one of the composer’s best-known works.  HANDS Percussion’s Tan Zhe Hao rearranges it for the gamelan in comradeship with Teuku Umar Ilany’s new composition ‘Camaraderie’. This soul stirring collaboration is dedicated to everyone who has loved ‘Fur Elise’.

The Taiko’s Duel 

A new composition by HANDS Percussion’s resident Japanese culture fan Yamato, this piece features the taiko drums and the Japanese art of drumming as a centrepiece. Taiko drumming embodies energy, movement, technique and most of all attitude. It’s this attitude and the dramatic nature of taiko drumming that leads ‘The Taiko’s Duel’ to take on a ‘Duel in the Mist’ a piece presented by the ITA Ensemble in its debut concert ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’. This turns the stage set for the taiko drums into a stunning musical duel with the addition of the gendang, shigu drums, guzheng, pipa, samisen and the flute.

Child of the Earth

This will be the first-time children from the Little Flower Foundation and the HANDS Percussion  Academy (HPA) perform on stage. After months of training both at Ulu Yam, Batang Kali and at our studios they are eager and ready to go. This piece was composed based on several basic 24 drum patterns which our little drummers have been learning and have mastered it at different levels. They have come from different worlds yet stand and work together to create an experience and performance they will not forget. It’s heart-warming as it is true that the spirit of drumming and the joy of music can bring people together.

About Hands Percussion:

Hands Percussion is a renowned percussion ensemble based in [City]. Founded by Bernard Goh, the ensemble has been captivating audiences with its innovative performances, blending traditional and contemporary drumming techniques. With a commitment to education and inclusivity, Hands Percussion continues to inspire and nurture the next generation of percussionists.


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