The Ten Drum Art Percussion Group is a music troupe based in southern Taiwan that aims to promote local culture and invigorate Taiwanese percussion art.
To that aim, it has produced many pieces that present Taiwanese history, folktales, and culture through diverse drum performances. Its album "Drum Music Land (鼓之島)” was nominated for Best Traditional World Music Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards, and for Best World Traditional Album at the 9th Independent Music Awards.
Founder Hsieh Shi (謝十) developed an interest in playing drums since an early age. Feeling the need to create Taiwanese percussion music instead of borrowing from western elements and techniques, he established the Ten Drum Art Percussion Group in Tainan City in 2000.
The troupe members experimented with different stages of creation and gradually developed their own style after the first decade. Before 2002, most of their creations took inspiration from Peking opera and Beiguan music pieces. After 2002, Ten Drum began to create percussion music by using Taiwanese history, landscape, and culture as source materials, and started introducing Taiwanese-style pieces to the public in 2003.
By 2005, the troupe had established its signature style that balanced the themes of power and harmony. After 2006, it also began to collaborate with professionals from the different fields of theater, dance, music, and film, producing popular cross-sector ventures.
One such large-scale piece was titled "Gate of Taiwan - the Tale of Lakjemuyse (台灣之門 - 鹿耳門記),” which combined drumming, drama, and literature to tell the Taiwanese story of how folk hero Koxinga (鄭成功) defeat the Dutch colonists on Taiwan in 1661.
Over the past decade, Ten Drum has staged hundreds of performances around the world. For instance, it joined the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 and presented "Impression of Taiwan,” a narrative piece on the culture and landscape of Taiwan. The joyful performance set to Grammy-nominated music was widely acclaimed.
In addition, the troupe established the "Ten Drum Cultural Creative Park (十鼓仁糖文創園區)” in Tainan in 2007, transforming an abandoned sugar factory into a cultural and creative park that offers creative products, cafés, museums, theaters, and audiovisual facilities.
As a world-renowned troupe today, Ten Drum is a fixture of the annual Tainan International Drum Festival and works to strengthen the Tainan music scene. It also networks with percussion troupes from other countries and hosts concerts to promote Taiwanese percussion music, endeavoring to cultivate Taiwan into an island of percussion art one day.