How the VAHMS theme song came about:
In early 2011, the Board commissioned musician Vince Mai to write a short piece to express musically the theme of “Harmony in Diversity”. Director Winnie Cheung suggested a concept that would bring a variety of drumming/percussion elements from Asia Minor to the far East and invited a number of local drumming groups to play the VAHMS theme song with Vince Mai as the conductor and trumpeter at the opening ceremony of explorASIAN 2011 at the CBC Plaza at downtown Vancouver on May 1, 2011.
VAHMS Theme Song’s copyright is held VAHMS but all are welcome to play it with acknowledgement to The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS)
Description of the VAHMS theme song:
It begins with a “one drum” beat derived from the traditional Chinese Lion Dance. It is played by the lower drums. Other drums are gradually added in their ethnic beats but in the same meter as the original beat. The main melodic theme then comes in, led by the trumpet with other melodic instruments (stringed, wind, mallets).
It then goes into a S Asian jam which can be played by the Turkish drums. This is their time to showcase their particular form of drumming.
It then goes into a Asian Minor section (contributed by Director Pirouz Ebadypour), using the Persian & Arabic drums and pitched string instruments.
The next section is a variation motif again led by the trumpet with the primary beat as the foundation. It is followed by a South Asian theme featuring strings and breaking up the feeling with a more smooth tone and modern flavour.
Next is a gamelan and Indonesian-flavoured bell interlude with some Chinese stringed instruments. This is the slightly dreamy section that sets up the next section.
Taiko beats follow, and are joined by Korean drums.
Following this is a reiteration of the beginning, starting with the “one drum” beat and building with the addition of the different drum groups until the trumpet and melodic instruments bring in the theme and play to a large finale.
(Text written by Vince Mai and edited by Winnie L. Cheung, 2011)