Sinat and Srey Peou after their performance
Next month, Sinat and Srey Peou will give American audiences a flavour of their personal brand of traditional Cambodian music and song, having last night earned plaudits from an appreciative crowd at the Cafe Living Room as a prelude to their trip overseas. With Sinat playing his beloved tro khmer
and other instruments and Srey Peou providing the vocals with her smot and poetry renditions, the west coast of America and the Khmer communities in that region are in for a rare treat. Sponsored by Cambodian Living Arts
, the pair will spend a month in the States, travelling over with CLA's founder Arn Chorn-Pond before an exhaustive tour of venues, schools and suchlike that will leave the two performers with barely a minute to breathe. Last night, their solos and duets were accompanied by a slideshow as well as two brief video biographies of the two youngsters, who hail from Siem Reap and Kompong Speu respectively, and who've been studying their specialized art-form for many years already, despite their tender years. It's clear that Srey Peou will do the on-stage narration as her English is pretty good though Sinat's mastery of his instruments will do his talking. CLA are also hosting their 2nd National Museum show with the youngsters from the Tonle Bassac Folk Group this coming Thursday. Though tickets are priced at a hefty $18 and primarily aimed at tourists, the organisers tell me that the lighting rig, sound stage and logistics will mean that even with a full house (its outdoor) they will still make a loss. But they are thinking long-term and the two shows they will perform, on Thursday and then again on 1 April, are to whet the appetite and gauge the interest pending more regular shows towards the end of the year. It's all designed to help CLA become more self-funded and less reliant on donations as they look to extend their programme of youth education and revival of the various art-forms under their watchful eye.
Sinat and Srey Peou deliver one of their duets at the Living Room Sinat's story has been made into a comic book for children
Labels: Cambodian Living Arts