Launch of DVD "Neak Me - Our Mothers" April 10, 2010


Resurgence of a musical culture in Cambodia: BETWEEN PRESERVATION AND EVOLUTION ?

Organized for the launch of the DVD Neak Me- Our mother's concert

a 60 minutes DVD-documentary on the behind-the-scenes story

at monument books- saturday 10 April 2010, 4:00pm

A screening and debate will be held on Saturday, 10 April 2010, at 4 pm at Monument Books on “Resurgence of a musical culture in the Kingdom of Wonder: between conservation and evolution?” or how to achieve a balance between conservation (apireak) and evolution (apiwat) of traditional Cambodian music and dance. This debate will be led by bosbaPANH’s Artistic Director, Panh Meng Heang, and a number of leading Cambodian performers. The debate takes place during “bosbaPANH week” organized by Monument Books from 3-10 April 2010 for the launch of bosbaPANH’s two new DVDs. The first DVD is the two-hour October 2009 concert, Neak Mê – Our Mothers, which showcased the talents of then-12-year old soprano bosbaPANH, and 100 other accomplished Cambodian musicians. The concert was a remarkable success, drawing double the capacity of Chaktomuk Hall. Raoul Jennar, a French researcher, said of the concert: “It was a beautiful concert -- profoundly Khmer but through the selection of songs, also international. I was very impressed to see one so young and so talented”. Secretary of State for Tourism, HE So Mara, added: “We are promoting Cambodia as the Kingdom of Wonder. bosbaPANH is one of our wonders. She helps promote our country and will inspire other young artists”. The second DVD is a 60-minute ‘behind the scenes’ documentary made during rehearsals and the Neak Mê – Our Mothers concert. This offers a unique insight into the challenges of bringing together a large and wide range of performers, and explains their motivation in working with a much younger artist. A Khmer classical dance group and five very different orchestras came together for the concert – mohori, pinpeat, popular, western classic, and a brass band. The April 10 screening and debate marks the end of bosbaPANH Week at Monument Books. An exhibition from 3 to 10 April gives bookstore visitors an opportunity to learn more about the 13-year old performer. Photographs of bosbaPANH, music sheets and musical instruments used in the Neak Mê concert will be displayed along with bosbaPANH’s traditional and modern stage costumes. During the Neak Mê – Our Mothers concert, which was about the dedication and love of mothers, bosbaPANH sang a wide range of songs from an international and Khmer repertoire. Songs included Concierto de Aranjuez; Ave Maria; La Vie en Rose; Summer Time; traditional Khmer Mohori; and the elegant songs of King Father Norodom Sihanouk and of Khmer golden voice, Sin Sisamout. The DVD set, presented in an unusual format (a large square bag), offers high quality of design and film editing and demonstrates efforts in disseminating Khmer music with sub-titles in Khmer, French and English. It contains: the two DVDs and an attractive 24-page booklet in English and Khmer. This is illustrated with historic photographs, and gives the narration for the concert as well as the lyrics to selected songs. These old photographs take us back to Phnom Penh in the 1940s, showing the now disappearing colonial buildings, rural landscapes, clothing styles, and other evocative images from a happier past. The DVD pack, which is priced at $20, is available at a number of locations in Phnom Penh: Monument Books on 111 Norodom Boulevard; Monument Books’ branch at the airport; the three branches of Café Sentiment and Malis Restaurant. Monument Books is also selling the DVD pack at its branches in Siem Reap and at the city’s airport.

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