Over Circle Percussion
Circle Percussion was founded in 1973 by Michael de Roo (initially called Circle Ensemble). Since 2002 Erwin Oudshoorn is artistic director and general manager. Circle Ensemble was named after the first composition they played: Circles from the Italian composer Luciano Berio. With this piece they won an important prize during the Gaudeamus Concour in 1974. Winning that prize created the standard, that they still have today: performances of the highest quality with the main focus on percussion.
An important development of the ensemble was the first magical meeting with the Japanese Taikos. A visual and musical spectacle for eyes ánd ears. This resulted in the first concert on Japanese drums by percussionists, other than Japanese (Holland Festival 1983).
In 1984 Circle Ensemble organised a Dutch tour with special guest KODO, the famous Japanese Taiko ensemble. During this tour the specialties of both groups, the western versus the Japanese percussion, were combined which resulted in magical concerts. At that time Circle was gathering their own Japanese Taiko collection, with the most special drum ‘Okedo O Daiko’, specially made for Circle Percussion by Taiko Company Asano. The measurements are extraordinary: 2.55 m long and 1.95 m in diameter, the biggest drum of this type outside of Japan.
1987 again was a special year with a tour of 5 weeks in Japan, invited by the Tokio Summer Festival.
The fire of ’88
1988 was the year of the big fire in the dependance of the Utrecht Conservatory. On March the 12th a huge fire destroyed this historical building and almost everything that was in the building. Only the biggest drum survived. Thanks to a benefit concert, in cooperation with Jasper van ‘t Hof and Slagerij van Kampen (Dutch Percussion Ensemble) and a lot of generous gifts by the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund, Circle Percussion was able to collect new Japanese Taikos.
In that same year Circle Ensemble was invited by the Dutch Dance Theatre to take part in the ballet Kaguyahime by choreographer Jiri Kylian. Kaguyahime has been performed over 100 times and in many countries. Besides the intense collobaration with the Dutch Dance Theatre, the ensemble played a huge role in a lot of other productions in countries as Argentina, Israël, Japan and America. In Europe they drummed in Spain during the World Expo and in Germany they were in the headlines of the first Tag der Deutsche Einheit (regarding the fall of the Berlin Wall).
In 1996 Circle Percussion created their first theatre show, in collaboration with the percussion ensemble Anumadutchi: Drums of the World. It was a huge success and a great career start in theatres. The show has been played over 250 times, worldwide!
During the anniversary of 100 years Olympic Games in Atlanta, America 1996, Circle Percussion took part in the Olympic Arts festival with the show Drums of the World and Kaguyahime. In 1997 another highlight of Circle Percussion was Drums of the World, in which they collaborated with the local Taiko trio ‘Honoo Daiko’.
India, South Africa, Qatar, New York, Dubai…
Througout the years Circle Percussion performed on plenty of world stages. The performance in India during the opening ceremony of the Champions League T20 Cricket for 275 million television viewers and 65,000 people live in the stadium, for sure was one of the best. In Qatar they presented the extraordinary production Kinetic Painting with artist Norman Perryman. They also performed in Dubai, South Africa, Japan, America, Spain and England.
A few highlights:
Season ’96/’97 - ’97/’98: Drums of the World
Season ’98/’99 - ’99/’00: Drums of the World; Anniversary edition
Season ’98/’99 - The Rhythm of Life
Season ’99/’00 - Kinetic Painting
Season ’00/’01 - ’01/’02: Drumtracks
Season ’02/’03 - ’03/’04: Drums of the World, Special Edition
Season ’04/’05 - Drums of the World, Super Special
Season ’05/’06 and ’06/’07 - Drums of the World, The Wild Edition en ‘Tuitende Oren’ (children’s theatre)
Season ’07/’08 and ’09/’10 - Drums of the World.4 en Tuitende Oren
Season ’10/’11 and ’11/’12 - Down to Earth!
Season ’12/’13 and ’14/’15 - Big! Men! Drums!
Season ’14/’15 and ’15/’16 - CRASH TEST DRUMMERS!
Season ’15/’16 and ’16/’17 - Bang That Drum