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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Original Music and Song from Cambodia 2016

Cambodia is among the old culture in South East Asia. What can we see from this country? It should be noted that this small country used to dominate the almost the whole territories in mainland South East Asia and gave life to many new cultures on its old territories and culture. Cambodia was the key contact between South East Asian Kingdom to the world since the first century AD. The residents here has been so creative since then due to good communication and cultural exchange through trade and relationship to larger kingdom around the world. The first most famous international port of Cambodia was O Keo Port (Oc Eo) in Southern Vietnam today and what we have been hearing the most is the traditional music flourished in the peak of Angkor Khmer Empire that until now music is the still the part of life in this country. The tastes of music are traditional and modern (oldies and original). The traditional music mainly serves for the traditional ceremony, wedding, and so on; the oldies music reflects the creativity of first modern music to Cambodia after French Colonialism until mid 1970s while the new modern original music has just been revived by young Cambodian recently.

The original music in Cambodia today has been getting influence from its oldies modern music, world music today and their own creativity in music talent along with good musical training and lesson. We have seen many private schools now offers classes for young Cambodian to have a chance to learn and advance their musical skill to challenge the world that Cambodian music is not really copied from the world, but we get influenced. Cambodian music got its peak once before the war and had many talented musician and lyricists. Most famous celebrity before the war are Has Salorn, Voy Ho, Sinn Sisamouth, King Norodom Sihanouk, Svay Som Oeur, Om Dora, Kim Sam El, Som Sakhorn, Sos Math ... There are thousand of song with original oldies music:

- ផ្ការីកលើមេឃ (Blossom in the Sky by Ros Sereysothea)

- រាំកម្សាន្ដចិន្ដា (Dance for Your Happiness by Pen Ran)

- ទ្វីស ទ្វីស ខ្ញុំ (Oh! My Love! Twist! Twist! by Chum Kem)

- ខឹងព្រោះស្រលាញ់ (Angry Cos of Love by Sinn Sisamouth)

- រាត្រីសេកុង (Sekong Night by Huy Meas), etc.

For the attention, what kind of original music today do young Cambodians get to their fan? Haha.... They are really cool! You Know! The creativity in original music and song is getting attention from Cambodian fan so much because we really hate the word "Copy", especially music from neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam. Honestly, those influenced song are not really copied, but just cover and sometimes we saw different meaning of the song. It means mostly we got influence in term of music. Not only today, but the past each country exchanged their taste of music cos it's new and modern; everyone just wanna learn how to do it. Something new coming, they cover with their own style. Anyway, we are really sorry that we want more original music and song because talent is here in Cambodia today. Why does we need to get influenced so much? Let's strive to create our own music! Hehe...... Yeah! Young Cambodians this year get high score from fan because their music shows the creativity and nature of Cambodian musical tastes playing with western instruments; sometimes they remix with traditional and oldies music. Wow! So interesting! There are some famous songs with original music today such as:

- ចង់ក្បែរ (Wanna Be Close by Mam Picherith),

- អស្ចារ្យណាស់កម្ពុជា (Amazing Cambodia by ADDA Angel)

- លួចស្នេហ៍ដួងច័ន្ទ (Love Crush - Remix Oldies and New Style by Tena)

- ទីនេះមានមនុស្សខូចចិត្ត (Broken Heart Person is Here by ADDA Angel and Heng Pitou)

- ម្នាក់ឯងរហូត (Forever Alone by Ma Chanpanha)

- ខ្ញុំជាអ្នកខេត្តបាត់ដំបង (I am from Battambang by Neebernea or Eam Vanny)

- ឆឺត! ឆឺត! បុណ្យភូមិ  (Happy! Happy! Phumi New Year! by Khmeng Khmer)

- ទង់ជាតិខ្មែរ (Oh! Khmer flag by Small World Small Band)

- វិលវិញមក (Please Come Back by Pheng Suly)

- រៀបការនឹងបងបានទេ (Marry Me by Oun)

- រាំញីកែងជើង (Dance with Your Heel by G-Devith and Pich Sorphea)

- ច្រណែនគេដែលមិនមែនជាខ្ញុំ (Jealous that You are Not Me by Run Syra)

- នឹកអូនបានត្រឹមស្រមៃ (Miss You only in the Dream by Oung Soria)

- ឃ្លាតពីគ្នា (We Are Getting Away by Patthana Narunrath ft YT)

- ទឹកចិត្ត (Our Heart by Ponleur and Socheat), etc.

Original Music by Cambodian youth in 2016 is the good start for Cambodia to stronger its musical talent and fame like South Korea. Cambodia is surely improved from time to time and the golden age of music is getting back to its way. Thanks to all Cambodian youth and professionals who keep it up for better Cambodia with original music! Su su! :)

By: Pok Panhavuth

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Biggest Hidden Pre-Angkorian City, Mahendraparvata on Phnom Kulen, Revealed

The ancient Angkor City of Khmer Empire is supposed to be the largest capital in the world from 8th to 15th century just to the present of largest temple in the area. However, researchers scan the floor under the jungle near Phnom Kulen using new laser technology and get new data about the hidden city beneath the forest on Phnom Kulen plateau. 

Historically, King Jayavarman II declared the sovereignty and power of Khmer Empire in early 9th century on Phnom Kulen as the starting point of Angkor Period. We used to hear about Mahendraparvata city in history, but we never know that it was that large in addition to the present of lowland Angkor city. At last, we can now see ancient Angkor City with larger scale as the best of Khmer Empire. 

From this research, one thing to be interested is about the good management for transportation and water irrigation system link to the core of Angkor Town, Angkor Wat and to the Preah Khan Temple in Kompong Svay, Kompong Thom. Preah Khan Kompong Svay used to be the most important town to produce iron for the Kingdom, especially for Angkor Construction. We can also see how Mahendraparvata played the key role in Angkor Period and how million of residents live in that town. There is said to have more than 1 million people living in Angkor City at that time. 

The dense population shows how strength the Angkor City was able to do many things at the same time like water irrigation system, people management, higher education to people from around the world, city planning and transportation to various town throughout the Khmer Empire by linking to Sokhotey (Sokhothai), ancient town  in the far north of Khmer Empire bordering with Burman Kingdom, to Nokor Sreythommareach (Nakhon Sithammarath) in the far south close to Malay Kingdom (Java), Kanchanaborey far west bordering with Mon Kingdom, to Prey Nokor (Ho Chi Minh) far east close to Champa Kingdom.and Khmemarath (Khammouan) & Luang Prabang in the far north close to China. 

Evans said: “We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there – at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay and, it turns out, we uncovered only a part of Mahendraparvata on Phnom Kulen [in the 2012 survey] … this time we got the whole deal and it’s big, the size of Phnom Penh big.”
 A research fellow at Siem Reap’s École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) and the architect of the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative (Cali), Evans will speak at the Royal Geographic Society in London about the findings on Monday.
Evans obtained European Research Council (ERC) funding for the project, based on the success of his first lidar (light detection and ranging) survey in Cambodia in 2012. That uncovered a complex urban landscape connecting medieval temple-cities, such as Beng Mealea and Koh Ker, to Angkor, and confirmed what archaeologists had long suspected, that there was a city beneath Mount Kulen. It was not until the results of the significantly larger 2015 survey were analysed that the size of the city was apparent.
The Angkor City was historically largest capital with dense population of Khmer people and other small ethnic group bringing in from nearby area. We hope this research can bring more understanding about Angkor City and Khmer Empire, especially how the development and collapse of this city occurred. We, Cambodian, really thank so much for the research done and hope more data could be revealed as soon as possible. Ancient town is supposed to equip with higher scientific technology in city development and temple construction. Many mysteries of Angkor is still here and we, young generation, wish to learn more and accept it as the lesson for future generation planning!