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Thứ Bảy, tháng 7 29, 2006

No. 1071 (tinhtan dich)

Hitting the high Notes


July 30, 2006

Music as well as honouring Sunthorn Phu, a great poet of the early Rattanakosin era who stayed at the temple during his monkhood days, from 1839 to 1842. He said pii phat used to be a significant part of Buddhist temples and religious rites, and it is time to bring the music back to where it belongs.
''We found an ancient term, siang phat, in many inscriptions,'' he said, adding that phat means all kinds of percussion instruments, from gongs to xylophones as well as drums.
Besides, he said, the event aims to remind the public of the brilliance of Sunthorn Phu, who was a talented lakhorn music chanter of his time.
''In the old days, this kind of music was played by people in communities, in what is known in Thai as prakhome, a term used only for pii phat percussion instruments,'' he said.
While the opening performances on July 10 and 11 were of sacred music that accompanies religious rites _ also known as pleng rueng, a part of ritual music _ Korphai chose to offer its fans a more entertaining, easy-listening style.
Anant Narkkong, leader of the Korphai ensemble, said the selected songs catered better to the fans' taste and the feedback was satisfactory.
''The advanced pii phat music is perfect but it is too complicated for the general audience,'' said the musician, who is also instructor of Mahidol University's College of Music.
In his opinion, the programme is ideal as it provides a rare space for Thai classical music in today's world. Currently, such non-mainstream musical performances come mostly in the form of music contests at educational institutes, as well as wai khru events. Sometimes the music is performed at funerals _ a function that significantly stigmatises this musical genre.
Mr Anant said the performances at Wat Theptidaram should help to overcome that stigma, and make people know more about pii phat music and be aware that it can also be played for fun.
However, Mr Anant realises that the performance dates, on wan phra, are not very practical since they are not public holidays and some people simply cannot attend.
''That is the major drawback for the event,'' he said.
Phra Ratworamethee, the abbot of Wat Theptidaram, says the temple is more than willing to provide an area for pii phat musicians.
Such concerts will help to revive Thai traditions, he said.
''The only problem is that the temple is not so spacious. But if the organisers find that acceptable, we are willing to be a part of it,'' he said.
He said there were no conditions that the music should be limited to only that of religious rites. ''But it would be nice to have those tunes in the programme sometimes,'' he said.
The abbot said it's up to Mr Sujit and the Suvarnabhumi Institute whether to extend the programme after Buddhist Lent finishes in October.
But Mr Sujit said that while he wants to continue the programme, he is not certain he will be able to because of a lack of financial support.
Those who help out with the programme do it with their hearts.
''Support for such a programme is rare,'' he said

http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/30Jul2006_news08.php