Just been reading an amazing account of survival from Cambodia. The book is called “When broken glass floats” after a Khmer proverb and is about the life story of Chanrithy Him whose family fled their home twice, becoming refugees, forced to live in a rural village and she ended up trekking through the “killing fields.”
On our trips to Cambodia we have met with and heard many stories of how musicians were persecuted during the Pol Pot dictatorship. Last night we watched a very moving documentary on a young flute players disturbing story of life during the Khmer Rouge take over and how he is now restoring traditional Khmer arts in Cambodia.
We have a date for the release of our new project Garlands for Ashes – 21 November 2011. A 14 track CD, 12 page booklet and DVD which includes – a clip on Cambodia’s history – another about CCAM and their story – 5 videos of traditional Khmer dances – 3 traditional orchestra pieces – individual instruments – and a photo gallery of life.
LATEST NEWS – Thanks Dan …. mixing done and dusted. Bit of a marathon as we had music tracks for CD and for DVD. The exciting thing is that the DVD will have over an hours worth of video clips. Now working on the cover design with our good friend Andy at JHarts. Mastering next week at Digital Audio in Skipton.
A quick update on the Cambodia project – we are just finishing the last video for the DVD. There will be loads of material for the DVD as this time good friend Jerry Curd from Digital Image accompanied us to film. We hope to include – a clip on Cambodia – another about CCAM and their story – 5 videos of traditional Khmer dances – 3 traditional orchestra pieces – individual instruments – and a photo gallery of life.
Just watched an amazing piece of journalism on BBC 4 … harrowing but well worth the watch.
It’s a documentary about Comrade Duch, who ran the Tuol Sleng prison camp in Phnom Penh and was the first Khmer Rouge leader to be tried by the Cambodian courts for the regime’s crimes. On 28 February 2009 Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, appeared in the ECCC courtroom and made a two-hour speech where he asked for forgiveness for the appalling torture and execution of at least 13,000 prisoners at Tuol Sleng and probably more in the security camps of M-13 and M-99. Until this date, with the exception of a handful of judges, lawyers and a priest, he had not been seen or heard of for the last thirty years. How did a man, known to be kind and generous to fellow students, possibly transform himself into Comrade Duch, the Khmer Rouge’s infamous executioner? This documentary revisits and searches for clues.
We have been working on the 9 hours of video footage that we brought back from Cambodia. Interviews, dances, music and much more. The DVD that will be included with the music CD will have video clips from some of the beautiful traditional Khmer dancing and also CCAM’s traditional orchestra. The process of putting together the video footage has been a steep learning curve and taken a lot longer than we expected but we have learned so much …. sometimes time is what it takes to get it right.
Tomorrow we start mixing the music for our new Cambodian project. The title of the project will be “Garlands for Ashes” and as you can see we now have a CD cover design in progress. We have enlisted our good friend Dan Weeks from weeksweeksweeks to help with the mixing. We are hoping the project will be out for the summer … so we will keep you posted.
Before the sun had risen we set out travelling from the city of Phnom Penn along increasingly bumpy roads to rural Prassat. As we watched Cambodia raise her sleepy head, even at this early hour we saw an impoverished yet industrious people busy trying to eke out a living. Reaching the Mekong River we waited to catch a small over-loaded car ferry whilst being accosted by traders repeatedly urging us to buy cockroaches, beetles, grubs and all manner of delicious traveller’s snacks! Having paid for our crossing, the next step was not so easy. Bribing is now common occurrence through all strands of life, (a legacy some say of having to find any means to survive the Pol Pot genocide), and because our host wouldn’t play the game we had to wait whilst others were put on the impossibly rickety ferry first. Read More