Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

24 juillet 2007

Rare visit by 'Cambodian Ray Charles'

A Cambodian artist whose music was banned under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime is making a rare visit to Wiltshire to perform songs that have been saved from extinction.

Kong Nay, the 'Ray Charles of Cambodia', will be performing the Chapei in Bradford on Avon on August 2 as part of a tour to mark his first ever visit to the UK.

A film called The Flute Player is being shown before the concert about fellow Cambodian, Arn Chorn-Pond, who survived Pol Pot's genocide in the 1970s to set up the charity Cambodian Living Arts, which supports traditional artists like Kong Nay in teaching future generations so the music lives on.

The tour is thanks to former Genesis front man and WOMAD organiser, Peter Gabriel, who saw the film and sent his sound engineer out to Cambodia to find Kong Nay and bring him back to play in the UK.

Speaking at his Real World Recording Studios in Box, Gabriel said: "At the end of the Khmer Rouge one of the things Arn Chorn-Pond did was to try and save some of the great arts that Cambodia had had. Artists had been targeted by the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot - 90 per cent of them were eliminated. For us, to be a rock musician we get rewarded handsomely in many ways, but to be a rock musician in Cambodia may well have cost you your life."

Although Kong Nay's music seems very different and is thousands of years old, Gabriel believes it has many similarities to the Delta Blues, hence the nickname the 'Ray Charles of Cambodia'.

Nay is a master of the Chapei Dang Weng, a long-necked two-stringed guitar, which he plays while singing with his young student, Ouch Savy.

Speaking through a translator, Nay, whose instrument was confiscated during the regime, said: "During the Khmer Rouge time it was completely banned but in my heart the art was always there and I would try to remember the notes, the tones and the music by humming to myself. I have been waiting for this day for so long and have always been excited by it. The Chapei is uniquely Cambodian and it is very important that our young people know about these forms of art. If it dies we are going to lose it forever."

Gabriel added: "I think it's a wonderful thing to have a visit from Kong Nay to this country for the very first time and to be able to sample some of this extraordinary music."

Kong Nay with Ouch Savy and The Flute Player film is on at Bristol's Arnolfini on Wednesday, the WOMAD festival on July 26-29 and Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon on August 2. For Bradford tickets call (01225) 860100.

By Charley Morgan

Aucun commentaire: