“SOV….why can’t we just focus on business at hand? R u with or against what we are doing???”
-Sam & Kem’s office
I’m not sure what you are trying to imply by your questions above. If however by ‘business at hand’ you mean current political crisis or predicaments that Cambodia is finding herself in then I would kindly suggest that you take a couple of minutes of you time to listen to the first track’s lyrics and try to discern their clear meaning. Many of the songs posted here [KI Media] and at Khmerisation were composed and broadcast during the 1970s and at a time of grave social and political upheavals and of great human and national plights and sorrows, just as these events are movingly and achingly described by Mr Sos Math in this particular song and in many other of his patriotic pieces. Note his references to the eastern provinces under Viet Cong occupation and invasion at the time; the ill-treatment of monks, his plea for Khmer unity under UN guidelines or resolutions, as well as asking Khmers to cease killing and turning on each others. Are these pleadings relevant and resonant in today’s social political context? If you or any reader believes that is the case, then we could well be marching towards the same destination or at least approaching it from ‘slightly’ different starting points.
All other songs posted may not contain the same kind of explicit “patriotic messages or overtones” but they are nevertheless a part of people’s lives and history; a daily soundtrack of their world. A well-written and composed piece of music is a potent tool for instilling loves and a sense of belonging in a person for his/her homeland and a means of perpetuating human memories towards and over that same place: in short, it is a part of a people’s history. Did you or any thinking person ever wonder why the Vietcong/Hanoi bred and abetted Khmer Rouge were so keen to gather those singers and artists, ‘intellectuals’, entertainers etc. and ‘liquidated’ them out of physical existence?
From the dawn of human existence, culture has always formed a part of and gives meaning and relevance to human existence – people can be moved to tears or to taking up arms and bearing untold sacrifices including their own lives in defence of their culture and shared national identity if these are under threat. One might argue that there are more urgent and critical issues at hands in need of attention, but are the things I have just underlined any less critical or important than whatever you have in mind? Are you sure everyone thinks and has the wherewithal to act like a professional politician, or even the voice to imitate their favourite singers? Do you really feel that all the popular/unpopular songs I had posted here and elsewhere are a distracting irrelevance? Are you really serving in “Sam & Kem’s office”? I will stop here as it is weekend and many just want to take a break from the daily hassles and stresses from their busy lives and maybe just relax and enjoy some romantic music without thinking politics or thinking at all!
Finally, with all due respect to “Sam and Kem”, provided that their hearts and souls are in the right place and they are in strategic command of their tasks they will not necessarily require School of Vice to be either ‘with or against’ them. I also previously wrote and posted an article under the title: “The Arts and National Revival” which some readers may find of interest as it relates to [popular] culture and national revival.
Hope this answers your queries.
“All the old songs are very good not only because of the singers but the composers as well.
All old songs are very meaningful.For romantic songs, if you listen at night and [when it's] quiet, you mind can be flying far away as voice and music can take you.I guess, School of Vice must be in romantic mood lately, that’s why he keeps posting these old romantic songs.”
Well, yes all these explanations are all true and valid! So there is no need for me to add anything more, except to say that, School of Vice has always been in romantic mood, and not just lately! However, if he/she has been listening to these songs a lot lately it’s probably because of the need to do so after all the recent exertions at the London Olympic!! [Obviously, School of Vice didn't win any prizes . . .]
“Dear KI Media,
We all agree that among the male singers Sinn Sisamouth is number One.We do not seem to agree on who the number Two is. Woud you be kind enough to pick the BEST songs, as you see fit, sung by Ung Nary, Thet Sambath, and Sous Song Veacha ?We do want to know once and for all, WHO can sing with both the voice and the style as close as the King Sisamouth. Thank you”
As fans and music lovers we are entitled to rate and rank singers according to our individual tastes and preferences. Most young people today are more disposed to the music of their time and are therefore highly unlikely to rate singers and song writers of previous generations very highly. Our tastes and passions are not only conditioned by our environments but are also subject to the process of change or ‘maturing’ like everything else. So even though some people may not find the music of another generation to their taste this may not necessarily be the case as they go through life. In some cases it may take the form of drastic change or emotional upheaval to alter or affect a person’s attitude or trigger receptivity to certain type of music, for instance. After all, music is created by people who live and breathe the so-called “real world” with all their yearnings, happiness, contradictions, disappointments and tragedies.
In many advanced cultural climates or countries, society and the state pay due attention to the role that the arts and culture play in fostering human well-being and in enriching their personalities and souls through cultural activities and interactions. Thus, we find that in these countries entertainers and exceptional artists or sportsmen/women are highly prized and their public values are given due recognition and accorded due ‘economic rent’ to reflect their talents and their contributions to the welfare of the public at large. Most of us as their audience also accept or tolerate the special privileges these talented individuals are accorded in the main because we appreciate and value their talents which we ourselves do not possess or have failed to nurture as they have done. In the same countries it is not for example uncommon to see parents taking their children to the cinema or classical concerts because they perhaps feel that the children would benefit from being exposed to certain forms of culture from such an early age, and even if the said children may not greatly enjoy these activities at the time they will nonetheless have absorbed their aesthetic effects at some subconscious level and will have lasting memories of these activities. Some Cambodian parents are known to have done the same. That said, the difference in vocal quality or ‘style’ is usually determined in music contests by a panel of appointed experts, and not usually by us the public. So it is not unusual for an expert’s idea of quality and our opinion of that ‘quality’ to differ, or concur, for that matter.
Personally, I feel we should just be grateful that we still have the privilege to listen and enjoy many of these songs from a bygone era. And more appropriately we should honour the memories and achievements of our heroes and elder brethrens who had put their effort into creating an art and a legacy that still help to comfort and enrich our lives beyond measure. Just because these artists and heroes are no longer with us in body, that does not mean they are ‘dead’ and irrelevant to us in spirit. If and as long as we still listen to their music and derive meanings or enjoyment from it then it is fitting to say that they are very much still with us and form an integral part of our collective ‘memories’. Further, as the poster above rightly pointed out, sometimes we like a song not for the vocal of the person who sings, but because of its particular composition or melodies. Not all of Mr Sinn Sisamouth’s songs are to my liking, for instance.
NB: the songs you requested have been kindly posted by Khmerisation on his blog.
School of Vice
Posted By School of Vice to KI Media at 8/19/2012 12:32:00 AM
Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 8/19/2012 12:32:00 AM