Young drummers from the remote Aboriginal village Pisilian are to open the triennial Taiwan International Percussion Convention next month, bringing their music to the international stage.
The Amis drummers of the Pisilian Paw Paw Drum group are to join the Ju Percussion Group in the opening concert in Taipei on May 26, the organizer of the event, Ju Percussion, announced yesterday.
The Pisilian Paw Paw Drum from Taitung County’s Sansian community consists of 25 members with an average age of 15. The troupe performs with drums made from abandoned fishing buoys (pronounced “paw paw” in the Amis language) found in their fishing village.
Ho Hong-chi (何鴻棋), associate director of Ju Percussion and instructor of the Pisilian Paw Paw Drum, said the young drummers are to perform three pieces in the opening concert that are inspired by tribal life and ancient Amis tunes.
“Their performances will also feature harvest festival dances and cheers,” Ho said.
Ju Tzong-ching (朱宗慶), the founder and artistic director of Ju Percussion, said he hopes the performances will reveal to audiences a unique aspect to Taiwan.
Ten drumming troupes and 10 solo percussionists from 14 countries are to perform at the festival this year.
Among them are France’s Percussions Claviers de Lyon, a frequent winner of world percussion awards, the Netherlands’ Percossa, which is known for integrating drama into its performances, and Australia’s Speak Percussion, which is famous for its advant-garde music.
Taiwan’s Forum Music and Succession Percussion Group are also scheduled to play at the festival.
Held every three years since 1993, the convention has seen a total of 77 percussion groups and musicians participate in the events over the years.
In 2011, the convention attracted an audience of more than 30,000, and this year, organizers are expecting at least 35,000 people.
The convention is to open on May 26 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei and run until June 1 in Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung and Hsinchu City, as well as Hsinchu, Yilan, Changhua, Chiayi and Taitung counties.