ASEAM co-founder Sam Cartmell wrote a guest blog post for the Smithsonian Folkways UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music to mark the republishing of two Southeast Asian recordings – Thailand: The Music of Chieng Mai and Laos: Traditional Music of the South.
Read the blog post here
Smithsonian Folkways is currently re-releasing the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music catalog as custom CD or download. The latest re-releases from Southeast Asia are two excellent albums of Cambodian music.
Cambodia: Folk and Ceremonial Music
Traditional Cambodian ceremonial orchestras may be divided into two groups: those composed of string and wind instruments and those that are primarily percussion ensembles using keyed metallophones, gongs, and xylophones (pinpeat orchestras). This album, recorded between 1966 and 1968, features both. Historically, the pinpeat orchestras, often with several hundred musicians, performed ceremonial music for the Brahmins (the highest ranking caste) or the king. This recording captures the essence of the distinctive musical forms that have survived since the 11th century.
In addition, Master Srey-Yim performs solos on the tro khmer, a three-string bowed instrument, and the sadev, a gourd monochord, in a folk music orchestra. Also heard is the chapey, a two-string lute that is ideal for accompanying vocal improvisations because of its technical possibilities and the effects of attacking the strings in different ways. The album includes music for weddings, boxing matches, and shadow theater.
Cambodia: Royal Music
The roots of Cambodian music trace back to the ninth century and the establishment of the Khmer Empire. Cambodian music was based on systems that originated in the local culture, using instruments indigenous to the Indo-Chinese peninsula like bronze gongs and bamboo xylophones. Contemporary Cambodian orchestras are modest compared to the Khmer Empire era grand ensembles, which sometimes featured hundreds of musicians, but they remain reflective of the musical art form.
This 1971 recording features sacred royal Khmer music performed by ensembles of the Royal Palace orchestra and choir. The liner notes describe the origins of Cambodian (Khmer) music and the important role played by the Royal Palace in its preservation and performance. The liner notes also provide a brief description of each of the compositions.
Smithsonian Folkways is currently re-releasing the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music catalog as custom CD or download.
The most recent re-release Indonesia: Music from West Java features the enchanting “Wayang Golek: Scene from the Ramayana”
“The old songs . . . The legend of white bat”
The back cover reads:
This album is a tribute to
He, Cheng dian
He, Xi dian
He, Xue kong
Zhang, Mo jun
He, Yu tang
He, Kai xiang
He, Ji guei
He, Shi cheng
He, Ding ba
They have been influence and give lots of advices to Li, Xiu xiang. They are spirit of Naxi ethnic group, May they rest in peace.
Thanks to Yunnan Yulong County Government and Press Bureau…
Published by The images and music of ethnic group culture company
A big thank you to NiNa for providing the CD and the translation!
A big thank you to NiNa for sharing these amazing recordings from a night celebrating with her friends from a Lisu performance group.
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