Monday, November 29, 2010

Cambodia - A Musical Anthology of the Orient 2

A Musical Anthology of the Orient - Unesco Collection 2

The Music of Cambodia: Ceremonial, Folk and Court Music
Bärenreiter - Musicaphon - BM 30 L 2002 - P.1961

(Click here to go to to the disocgraphy listing of all the publications in this series)

Side A

A01 Invitation to the Genies
A02 Solo for Cha-pai
A03 Prelude (Karnai)
A04 Counting the flowers (Rop Koh)
A05 Music for banquets and in honour of distinguished personalities (Sam suon savan)
A06 To drive away Demons (Wan bain priyai)
A07 Distribution of Gifts at Marriage Festivities
A08 Funeral Music

Side B

B09 March of the Songs
B10 The King of Angkor (Prah Thao)
B11 Prayer in Pali
B12 Wedding Music
B13 Mystery a cappella track.

The following pictures of old instruments from the Phnom Penh Museum
in the 1960's, makes one wonder how they have fared over the years,
since the people there have met so hard times.

Skor Tom (Rumonea)

Tro Khmers

Cha pei

Shaing shra lei

Tro U

Tro I

The last track is not listed nor mentioned either in the liner notes to accompany the LP nor is it mentioned in the reviews. It is doubly sad becuse the anonymous singer has such good voiceculture that it would be interesting to read more about the tradition it was a manifestation of. If anyone has more information to shed some light on this track I would be most delighted. Maybe it was added on the second pressing but no mention is made to that effect.

12th century carved stone relief of musicians
from the ruins of the ancient capital of Angkor

If someone can point me to other releases of early recordings of Cambodian music, i.e. more specifically from the pre CD era I would be overjoyed! It seems that there were very few made!
I will soon post one more from a french label, with some recordings that I also find rather interesting, made by Jaques Brunet and published in 1971.


arvind said...

Ah, great! Thanks, bo, for all the tireless work you put in!

What beautiful instruments. Wonder if anyone still plays them, though I wouldn't expect all of them to have survived, knowing how things have been in Cambodia.

øשlqæda said...


bolingo69 said...

I'd be more happy to know if the traditions and the music survived. Sorry, busy preparing the next one...

cliffsloane said...

The mystery track is a funeral lamentation (Track A-8, most likely). The singer recounts and praises the life of the deceased. The genre is still alive (pardon the pun), but the ornate singing style is far less common. The style is used in most movies about the Khmer Rouge period, although often played on tro u.

Cliff Sloane said...

I can verify that the instruments pictured on the notes are mostly extremely common and often played by disabled musicians at the main tourist spots, esp Siem Reap. The exception is the 3-string "tro khmer," which is not unknown but not very common.

Kurt said...

Great stuff. Enjoying this and the Laotian stuff too.


Janas said...

It was a pleasant listening. Precious sounds. Thanks Bolingo.

Anonymous said...

do you know where in phnom penh i can buy classical cambodian music from the 60s and 70s?

alex said...

s a way of saying thanks for your great blog, i offer you this. i can find no mention of this record anywhere on the internet, although maurice bitter himself seems rather storied. not the best quality, some amount of original machine noise, but still interesting hopefully...? enjoy and thanks so much for all the incredible music you share.

Anonymous said...

Could you reupload this LP? I borrowed from the library, but couldn't rip it, because there is a problem with my Tesla:)

Sokvichhai said...

i do really appreciate and really thank you for sharing this knowledge. I love to listen to this kind of music very much.

However, do anyone still have the copy of music? i could not download the music since it has been removed already. :(

Please kindly share to me the music :)

Thank you in advance...