Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 11 News List

Live Wire:A celebration of harmony

By Joe Henley  /  Contributing reporter

DJ/Emcee duo Shakaboom will have the dance floor moving at this year’s Daniel Pearl World Music Day tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Shakaboom.

Now and again (and again, and again, and again), amid gripes about low concert turnouts, egotistical artist chicanery or laconic crowds, we need a reminder of what music, at its core, really is, or rather what it has the potential to be. What it can be, when the right people get involved, is a unifying force for positive change — the purveyor of a powerful message of social progress.

About this time each year in Taipei, we get just such a reminder with Daniel Pearl World Music Day (丹尼一日音樂節:愛與和平世界紀念日). For those yet unfamiliar with his tragic story, Daniel Pearl was a respected journalist who was killed while on assignment in Pakistan in 2002.

At the time of his death, Pearl was just 38 years old. Sadly, he would not live to see the birth of his son, Adam, born less than two weeks after the discovery of his body north of the city of Karachi.

In one of those rare beautiful twists of fate, however, Pearl, who was also an accomplished musician, would have his legacy fulfilled by those who were left behind. As a fitting tribute to the man who embraced many passions, following his death his friends and family decided to organize a day of music in his honor. That celebration of “Harmony for Humanity” has since grown to encompass 11,000 performances in 129 countries.

This year in Taipei, organizers have once again brought together a diverse group of performers that will take to one of two stages throughout tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Headlining the World Stage is Ayugo Huang (黃連煜), who recently took home the Best Hakka Album prize at the Golden Melody Awards (金曲獎) in June for his solo record Shan Ge Yi Tiao Lu (山歌一條路). Huang will perform with his own five-piece ensemble, bringing the mellow acoustic vibes with a resolutely Taiwanese sound and subject matter.

Earlier in the evening electro-funk duo Shakaboom will get the crowd moving with their kid-friendly blend of positivity and high-energy tunes. The Los Angeles-based twosome, consisting of emcee Chris “C-Squared” Coyle and DJ Joseph Toh Djojo, aka Mr Hamburger, takes to the stage with the creed “if your body is in motion your mind will follow.”

Rounding out the lineup for the free festival is a mix of local and expat bands, with notables such as international world music consortium La Cumbia Del Sol, time signature shifting Zappa-heads Soup Mother, and the Motherland/Caribbean-inspired dance rhythms of Afroholique. The international flavor and inclusive nature of the event stand as a true testament to the man and the spirit Daniel Pearl World Music Day is meant to honor.

■ Daniel Pearl World Music Day (丹尼一日音樂節:愛與和平世界紀念日) takes place tomorrow at Taipei Hakka Culture Park (臺北市客家文化主題公園), 2 Dingzhou Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市汀州路3段2號). Bands hit the two stages at staggered intervals starting at 2pm. Food and drink will be available from vendors on site, and admission is free.

Also on tomorrow is the XXX Asia Metal Festival, a celebration of an altogether different sort. This mini-fest is all about power metal, the bastard child of late-70s/early 80s speed metal.

Galloping rhythms, lyrical tales of mystical fantasy and historic scenes of battlefield glory along with prodigious amounts of “guitar face” are what can be expected when seven bands from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong take to the stage in a bid to melt the most faces tomorrow night.

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