2017/18 R&D Project: Gestural Percussion Instrument

Project Launch and Public Workshop/

3 Jul 2018

Project Leader/

Joseph Chan, CMHK Technologist-in-residence (2017 – 2018)

Project Advisor/

Louis Siu, Artistic Director of Toolbox Percussion

Project Summary

CMHK’s technologist in residence 17/18, Mr Joseph Chan is a media engineer. His works are largely mechanical designs, mostly presented as special installations merging engineering and aesthetics.

In this season, CMHK invited Mr Louis Siu, Artistic Director of Toolbox Percussion to work with Joseph to develop a new percussive instrument. The instrument is designed to show different sounds and textures of glasses.

After long and fruitful discussions with Louis, Joseph created 2 glass instruments for percussions. As the main concern of Louis, the “glass chime” focuses on the motions and movements. With 2 sensors on each module, performers can play the instrument by moving their hands swiftly across the modules and triggering the sensors above and below the glasses. Another instrument Joseph made is a “shaker” that is controlled by a foot switch. The idea of this is to accompany the “glass chime” with performer’s foot while they are busy with their hands.

Project Deliverables

1. A ” glass chime” with 5 modules;
2. A “shaker” with foot switch.


Research Meetings

February – March, 2018

Development Phase

March – June, 2018

Production Phase

June – July, 2018

Project Launch and Public Workshop

July 3, 2018


Technologist-in-Residence: Joseph Chan

Chan’s works are largely mechanical designs, mostly presented as special installations merging engineering and aesthetics. Currently working as a media engineer, Chan often serves as the technical director for various commercial and art projects and endeavors to develop various machines and installations. He is also a member of the Hong Kong-based art group, XCEED.

Project Advisor: Louis Siu

Louis Siu is the Founder and Artistic Director of Toolbox Percussion, as well as Creative Director for MUSE3. Siu served as Principal Percussionist of the Macao Orchestra and was one of the founding members of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. His orchestral appearances include concerts and tour with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Qatar Philharmonic, Pacific Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Asian Youth Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Orchestra, and the Busan Maru International Music Festival, he was an ExxonMobil New Vision Artist at the 40th Hong Kong Arts Festival. Siu received his music education at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a scholarship student of Jack van Geem (San Francisco Symphony) and David Herbert (Chicago Symphony). He embarked PROJECTTT in USA with award-winning Afiara Quartet to promote music for strings, percussion and tenor timpani, creating a platform for composers to experiment. Siu taught at the School of Creative Media in the City University of Hong Kong, he has also conducted masterclasses at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Kasetsart University, Silapakorn University, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Hong Kong Music Office, Hanyang University and was a Teaching Artist at the San Francisco Symphony. He currently serves as a part-time instructor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is an alumni representative of the Asian Cultural Council (HK) Foundation.