Sunday, April 18, 2010

khana pleng bok soi siang sano

artist: คณะเพลงบอกสร้อย เสียงเสนาะ (khana pleng bok soi siang sano)
album: การพัฒนาคน (kan phatthana khon)
01. การพัฒนาคน (kan phatthana khon)

i came across this fantastic tape during a recent visit to nakhon si thammarat city. the genre, which was new to me, is called pleng bok, or "herald song", a specialty of thailand's south. pleng bok is a style of melodious call and response ballad, reminiscent of the pan-thai lam tat, and likely with similar roots in malay islamic prayer (though information about the music seems scant). this group, "pleng bok soi siang sano", led by soi damchaem, is really amazing.. their only musical accompaniment is a tiny ching cymbal, but they achieve an incredible rhythmic drive with their voices alone. this recording is of their award-winning performance at nakhon si thammarat's annual "festival of the tenth lunar month" in 1989 (2532). 6 years later, soi would become a national artist (ศิลปินแห่งชาติ), the first practioner of pleng bok to receive this honor.