Many Hands are a New Zealand-based group of musicians from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific Islands. We have each brought with us influences and instruments from our own original cultures and the places we have visited on our routes to Aotearoa. Together we are creating new music which reflects ourselves and the multicultural nation that is modern New Zealand.
Our permanent core musicians direct and shape the sound and direction of Many Hands, inviting other musicians and performers to take part in our musical projects. Some of our more ambitious live performances have involved as many as 60 performers, including dancers, acrobats and jugglers as well as musicians.
The sound of Many Hands is coloured by the instrumentation we use. Many Hands originated as a percussion ensemble and the percussion is still at the heart of the Many Hands sound. We use percussion instruments from around the world such as: Doumbek and Tambourine from the Middle East, Djembe from Mali and Senegal, Afro-Cuban Congas, frame drums from Europe and the Middle East, Tabla from India, Shekere and Guiro, Gu from China, log drums from the Pacific Islands as well as conventional kit drums and electronic percussion.
The melodic component of our music comes from traditional instruments such as Erhu and Guzheng from China, Flamenco guitar from Spain and Highland bagpipes from Scotland. We also use conventional Western instruments such as electronic keyboards, alto and soprano saxaphones, electric bass guitars, acoustic and electric guitars.
Rhythms from Africa, the Middle East, India and Polynesia are juxtaposed against aspects of traditional Asian & Celtic melodies, then fused with modern western pop & dance music. Through our music we hope to cross boundaries of understanding, and create something new and exciting.