Hands Percussion Malaysia

The first fully professional and self-funded percussion group in Malaysia, HANDS Percussion has had their journey cut out for them. They started out in 1997 with percussion and 24 Festive drumming performances at The Actors Studio Plaza Putra and Panggung Bandaraya in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Now with traditional and contemporary productions admired for its musicality, artistry and boldness they are not only a familiar name at numerous established local art and theatre venues, they have also performed at many corporate functions and music festivals both local and international.

After 25 years in the industry the group’s experience and repertoire is extensive. In the beginning they started out with just the traditional ’24-Festive Drums’ art form as the focus of their shows (e.g Ritual of Drums 2002, Dialogue in Skin 2004). Their current repertoire, drumming/percussion skills and musicality are the clearest testament to their steady drive, growth and incredible artistry in the industry. Intercultural collaborations like ‘Wind of Nomads’ in 2017 with Dafra Drums incorporating West African nomadic music with the djembe and ‘Taksu’ in 2019 with Gamelan Yuganada and the Balinese gamelan after extensive training and rehearsals clearly demonstrate the group’s passion for what they do. Other productions which challenged the group are such as Chaos in Unison, Dreams in November, RI YUE CHU YIN, Lafaz Gema, Tchaikovsky in Gamelan and The NEXT.

Some highlights of the group’s journey include representing Malaysia at the 16th International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) World Congress in Adelaide, Australia in 2008. They performed at the ground-breaking ceremony of The Ashgabat Olympic Complex, Turkmenistan in 2010. Just 3 months prior the group was in Hawaii for the East West Centre 50th Anniversary Celebrations. HANDS participated in the World Gamelan Festival held in Kuala Terengganu in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Master Ju, the Founder and Artistic Director of Ju Percussion Group (JPG) invited the group to perform at the 10th Taiwan International Percussion Convention (TIPC) in 2019. In the same year they travelled to Beijing for the Asian Cultural Carnival and to Bali for the Denpasar Festival

In January 2015, HANDS performed at The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland and in November at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur. Travelling to various countries around the world such as Bali in 2016 for the vibrant Bali Sprit Festival and to Tbilisi, Georgia to perform ‘Dialogue in Skin’ @ The Marjanishvili Theatre for the International Festival of Theatre in 2018, HANDS continues to aspire to take great contemporary percussion worldwide. The group’s latest international performance (after a two-year hiatus) was in January 2022 at The Dubai World Expo (2020) as Covid-19 restrictions began to ease around the world.

Today, HANDS has four full-time, twenty part-time and ten trainee performers. The performers are divided into two – the original core members are known as HANDS 1 and a second team, HANDS 2 which was formed in 2005. A HANDS Gamelan Group was formed in 2007 when a custom-made gamelan set was acquired by the group from Bali, Indonesia. A double storey corner office and studio space in Sungai Buloh, Selangor has been their home for meetings, rehearsals, creativity, collaborations and everything else since 2009.