Sombut and Buapan


Sombut and Buapan
Music and songs of Thailand
available on demand
2 artists on stage

Buapan Chaowandee, Lam Song
Sombut Simla, khen

Fully wrapped in a mysterious and marvelous atmosphere, Thai traditional music (Siam Kingdom, previously called Chaw-ng wu) reveals the amazing richness of its roots. It is said that the Thai inhabitants did really have a gift for music…

Literally “Country of free men” and one of the rare countries to have never been colonized by the western empires, the Kingdom of Siam, on the “silk road”, owns a wide cultural heritage with musical influences from China, India, the Khmer and Burmese kingdoms.

Far from the “clichés” and the repetitive tunes of pop music, some traditional music groups still have a great and deep impact on the cultural lifestyle of villages and small towns in the countryside and on the imagination of their inhabitants.


The mouthorgan Khen
The legend tells that this fabulous instrument may have been invented by Chinese Emperor Nyu-Kwa in the 3rd millenary B.C. and would have spread in all Asian countries, becoming therefore a key instrument of Asian civilizations, from Bangladesh to Japan, through China.

Originally used during propitiatory ceremonies to call the God Phi Fa, the only one who was able to draw rain and conjure diseases, the khen, that can be up to 3 meters high, does nowadays cover wider functions and even takes place on European stages : in some songs of the groups Aerosmith (1989), the Cranberries (1996), Yes (1999) but also in some songs of experimental music composer Randy Raine-Reusche who introduces it in its creation (CD) In the Shadow of the Phoenix (1998).

Most of the time, the khen goes along with popular Lam song or popular Pong Lang euphoric orchestras.
There’s no doubt that Sombut Simla is the greatest khen player in Thailand. Faithful to a millenar tradition, Sombut Simla knows how to play his instrument with humor in the manor of Jimmy Hendrix…

Thanks to a contemporary approach and breathtaking practice of its instrument, daring incursions into the rock and pop references, Sombut Simla hold his audience spellbound.


Lam Song
Aimed at entertaining, the song Lam plays a fundamental role in the oral transmission of culture from one generation to another as well.

From the sacred stories of the Buddha, the Jataka (The 550 lives of the Buddha and its reincarnations), to the countryside legends through daily news, love songs and homage to nature, the Lam covers a wide repertoire and is the place for amazing improvised spoken competitions.

The particular beauty of this song resides in the constant and ambiguous play of the shimmering  spoken-sung, flirting with melodic and rhythmic tunes of the khen, in the dexterity, and the improvisation and imagination skills of the singer that draw its strength in an endless and hypnotic music.

Sensitive and powerful at the same time, Buapan Chaowandee knows how to bring all the shades of the range of feelings and simple gestures, so that she embodies the stories and the characters she talks about.

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