By Dibya Jyoti Borah
Orchestrating a greener future for mankind through sustained use of bamboo, Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra (TBO) is a one of a kind bamboo orchestra group that has been mesmerising the global audience through its musical rendition.TBO is the world’s first pure bamboo orchestra established in the Zhongshan district of Taipei City of Taiwan, under the leadership of Luo Zhengtao.
They have highly experimented with the versatility of bamboo by inventing a few musical instruments made from bamboo such as treble bamboo organ, Ding Dong organ, square box organ etc.
TBO’s debut album “Voice of Bamboo” was released in September 2014 and since then the band has gone on to win followers and admirers galore.
In an exclusive interview given with Northeast Today, Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra gives a detailed picture of its journey so far…
NET : Please tell us how this unique orchestra came into being and who are all associated with it since its inception?
TBO : We are a group of people who love bamboo music. The joyful charm of bamboo instruments detonated our enthusiasm. In 2011, under the guidance of Professor Wu Siyin, we built the Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra bit by bit.
NET : Who are your team members?
TBO : Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra is composed of a group of young performers with superb performance skills. The leader of the orchestra is Luo Cheng Hun. He is a famous Yangqin performer. Many instruments of the orchestra are also developed by his ideas.
NET : Why did you choose bamboo as your medium?
TBO : The band’s use of bamboo for making musical instruments has become a trend among music groups around the world. The bamboo ensemble is known as the “Green Orchestra” and the “Eco-friendly Orchestra” due to bamboo’s characteristic traits such as quick growth, which allows a short harvest rotation cycle, allowing bamboo to be sustainable for the environment.
NET : Tell us about your performance experience throughout the globe?
TBO : Soon after the TBO was founded, TBO impressed audiences with their unique bamboo sound and captivating skill on stage. Since 2011, TBO has been invited to perform many important international performances in countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, China, Japan and Thailand.
NET : How well did the audiences receive you in your home country Taiwan?
TBO : TBO’s repertoire is both traditional and contemporary and includes Taiwanese folk music and indigenous music.
The performance style is innovative, energetic, and wellreceived by the audience of Taiwan.
NET : How are you promoting the folk tradition of your country?
TBO : Traditional musical instruments, such as Dizi, Xiao, and Sheng, are made of bamboo. TBO hopes to preserve the tradition and innovate to find a new path for Taiwanese music. In consultation with Prof. Wu, has successfully invented new instruments such as the “Bamboo Xylophone,” “DingDong,” “Box-Marimba,” and “Slapping – Bamboo.” TBO’s repertoire is both traditional and contemporary and includes Taiwanese folk music and indigenous music.