Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kong Vong Thom

Kong Vong Thom student Sour Vanna plays at Meta House tonight
Sour Vanna is a multi-talented student at the University of Fine Arts, currently in his third year and able to play at least half a dozen instruments proficiently. Tonight he demonstrated the Kong Vong Thom at Meta House as part of their regular Wednesday night Khmix It! sessions, though he admitted that the Roneat Ek is the instrument in which he would like to go onto achieve master status. Vanna is 25 years old and hails from Kandal province. He's been playing the Kong Vong Thom for ten years and is following in the footsteps of his father who is also a performer and teacher of classical musical instruments. The large circle of gongs are usually heard at weddings or funerals and as part of a much-larger pinpeat orchestra. He used soft mallets to play the tuned instrument which had sixteen cymbal-like metal gongs arranged in a circle and is suspended on a rattan frame. The gongs were in order of size with the smallest, highest-pitched on his right hand-side, and the largest, lowest-pitched on the left with the others in order between. The gongs are made of a copper and bronze and contain a mixture of lead and beeswax inside. Vanna teaches young students at CCF and works with CLA in Phnom Penh and has high hopes of playing abroad once he completes his degree studies in 2009.


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