Our last day in Cambodia – we were treated to the first showings of the new dances that will be performed at various events around Christmas.
Yearly Archives: 2013
Thanks Paul for this short clip – we are in Bangkok, Thailand and have been working on a wonderful new piece of music, drums and voice, with Yam Bongkote. Yam has a real understanding of how to mix the traditional Thai vocals with a more modern style of singing. The picture gives you an idea of what I used – bass drum, floor tom, gongs, small Thai drum, Khmer mahori drum, shaker and a skateboard!
Great to be with Paul and Yam in Bangkok. We have had a wonderful few days hanging out and hearing each others stories. We also got to help on a couple of new tracks that they were recording – one which was just drums and voice. Yam enjoys using both traditional and modern styles of singing on her recordings. Her desire is to encourage the Thai church to write their own original Thai worship music.
A student learns from two master players. Pastor David spent a number of years studying music in Berlin during the communist era, allowing him to miss the Pol Pot regimes harsh dictatorship. He has become very well known as a composer of Khmer music. The other teacher is a master Tro Sao player – both play a big part in teaching at the school.
Radio 4 often has some wonderful programs telling the stories behind the music – today there was a program by Julie Fowlis an acclaimed Hebridean musician and singer, talking about a project that is collating the amazing stories and musical heritage in Scotland. Tobar an Dulchais (translated as “a well of heritage”) is an incredible online resource which has been set up to preserve recordings in Scots, Gaelic and many other local dialects. At the moment they have a catalogue of 30,000 songs, music, stories and poetry which have been recorded since the 1930’s all over Scotland – all of which you can listen too online.
We have been out in Spain and read about this regional style of flamenco from rural Malaga in the local paper. With a more elaborate rhythm section of hand claps, castanets, finger cymbals and tambourine, it gives a subtle Arabic feel to the music. I have heard this started as a very old style of folk song, that has over the years been adopted into the flamenco tradition. Verdailes is the name for the olive grown in this area of Andalucia – more info.
Another interesting podcast (thanks Kathryn O’Neil) from the World Service about flamenco music being revived as a form of protest during the economic crisis in Spain.
Thanks Larry (NZ) for finding this very interesting project from Mexico – taking objects that have been used for violence and having the creativity to see the possibilities of using them to make music.