Vol. III No. 52 - Saturday December 25 - December 31. 2004
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ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

New building at the CDSC

Video ‘sculpture’ comes to CMU

Bali

Chiangmai Choral Society Christmas Concert

Asimo stomps into Chiang Mai

New stringed instruments a hit at Prem

New building at the CDSC

Manuel Kutscher

The Christian German School Chiang Mai (CDSC) has done it again! Just a few years after the new kindergarten building was built, another new building has been opened.

The new building, ready for the students

The official opening ceremony was held on December 13, 2004. The new construction consists of three classrooms. One will be used as a special room reserved for Thai language and cultural studies. The second is going to be the new computer laboratory. The third will be a multipurpose room for all kinds of teaching activities.

 It was a proud moment for teachers, students and parents. Even the little one who had the honor to hold the ribbon-cutting scissors was excited!


Video ‘sculpture’ comes to CMU

A rather different approach to ‘art’

Sandy Clark

CMU art museum, in cooperation with the Goethe Institute Bangkok, came up with a unique exhibition of what the curator called ‘video sculptures’. This title was specially selected to intimate that what was presented was truly ‘art’. Curator Wulf Herzogenrath issued an invitation to 17 artists, male and female, living, teaching or working in Germany, to contribute.

To some it might be just a ladder, but artist Wolfgang Staehle called this ‘piece of art’ ‘Vers la Victoire’.

Many VIP visitors came on the opening day after Ajarn Somporn Rodboon, a member of the ‘new team’ at CMU from the faculty of Fine Arts had introduced the concept of the exhibition.

It is an exhibition where you have to ask yourself what is the meaning behind it all, where a first impression may be altered on a closer look. You might see reflections which remind you of normal human problems, the society and even the Vietnam War.

It can be visited at the art museum from Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed on national holidays) until January 26, 2005.


Bali

Gina 12 years

“Get ready to paddle, paddle, paddle!” my dad said as he stood in the water, while I was on the surfboard, with his face bright pink. “What the hell! What do you mean?” I turned round and saw a beautiful wave forming towards us, with white foam appearing on the blue tips of the wave. Then a light push, I gained speed by paddling on the surfboard. I heard my dad scream his head off.

“Stand up!” I grasped the surfboard and quickly stood up, leaning forward making myself go at least 10 kph, damn! I could feel the wax on my feet and could taste the salty water, let alone the rashes from the board. I could feel the breeze touching my skin leaving goose bumps.

“Whooohhoooo” I heard my dad, again screaming his head off, giving me a piece of his mind! I felt the sand touch my feet as I stood up, doing my victory dance, making the busy Kuta Beach in Bali stare at me!

“Watchal looking at?” I said in my mind as people still looked at me. When I got out of the brownish blue sea, my feet started to fry up in the sand. “Wonderful. Now I can film you,” my dad said as he walked behind me, carrying the board up the white-sanded beach. Hopefully I would be good enough, I mean I get nearly all the waves, but I’m too slow.”

“Practice, my daughter, practice … Besides we have a whole week left, maybe you would be as good as your brother, Louis,” my dad said in full confidence. “Lets just get dried off and changed so we could go to the ketchut dance.” “What Ketchut dance?” I asked. “You will see, we are going to go with our friend Sadam!”

I could hear music in the distance as I sat on the rug, on the sandy beach sipping coke. Suddenly, I heard slamming breaking, disco music and a halt of an engine. Indian music came out of Sadam’s mouth and made the birds fly out of their nest.

“What’s up lobster? How are you? Are you ready to go to the ketchut dance?” Sadam said to my dad. “Yeah, can’t wait.” We all said. “Lets get to it, it’s going to get dark soon.”

He walked back to his car, wearing his orange pineapple shorts, bare footed, long hair dangling at his waste. He had five piercing, one that made him look like a buffalo, and two on each of his ears. It looked like we were taking a massive risk going to the dance with this man.

Doors slammed, disco music yanked on full blast and the neon light turned on. We were off to the legendary dance. As Sadam put on his straw hat, with a massive whole in the middle, his hair got more control, battling in the wind.

Once we arrived on the top of the cliff, and in the parking lot, my bum became numb and felt like a flat tire. When my mum on the other hand walked out, she had her camera out on the ready to take the usual family photos behind the temples, monkeys, flowers and the turquoise sea, bashing against the cliff. When we arrived at the front desk, these men put sarongs on us to show respect to the temple. As we got nearer we saw all these monkeys eating berries and flies on the temple’s brick walls. We handed our tickets to the man and walked to the amphitheater.

“Boooobbaaaddaaabbaa, shhhoobbaaddaabaa!” These men were sitting in a circle, and in the middle were a lot of offerings and a blazing fire. There was also a woman dancing. We got our seat along with a sheet that included a guide on what the play was about. Suddenly a woman with long hair that dragged off the floor came, giving us a fierce look. Suddenly all these characters came in with b-e-a-utful masks with a lot of different colors that blended in the background. All these characters wearing these masks and costumes. Along with wind rushing into my face.

The preceding was a winning entry in the Chiangmai Mail “What did you do on your holiday” contest.


Chiangmai Choral Society Christmas Concert

Variations on several themes

Santa’s Little Helper

The Choral Society’s annual concert had to be moved to the CMU auditorium due to insufficient space during the last couple of years. However, even though the auditorium seats 400, there were still people sitting in the aisles.

A Chiang Mai Christmas, international song with local words by soloist Antoine Garth and Scott Jones on the piano while the Choral Society and the audience join in the refrains

The concert started very contemporary with slower numbers such as ‘Every gift is Love’ and ‘Lo, Tiny Child’, but when Scott Jones and Antoine Garth came on stage for the first time it became clear that this was definitely not one of those concerts which you were dragged to unwillingly in your childhood. The clear tenor of Antoine, combined with the expertise of Scott on the piano, performing an 18th century English traditional ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ made the audience want more.

The babes in Toyland from the Aree School of Dance Arts.

Jinger Ben, sorry, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Christmas is’ and ‘Pine Cones and Holly Berries’ warmed the audience for the new wording of ‘The 12 days of Christmas’, with lyrics created by Choral Society President Becky Lomax and Frank Weicks.

Director Rainy Riding had her ‘singing part’ as well during the Twelve Days of Christmas, which was re-worded ‘Chiang Mai style’, including Panda bears, tuk-tuks, buffaloes, soi dogs and the politician up a palm tree…

The ‘arranged confusion’ by Scott Jones and Richard Dixon was perfectly confusing, and kept the crowd chuckling throughout the song. Keeping to the variety, the next performance came from the Aree School of Dance Arts, with the children trained beautifully by their teacher Panyasiri Romyanontha.

Of course, there is no Christmas without Santa, and Santa straight from a fairytale, ‘rolled’ in, and kept the audience chuckling and clapping during the second half of the concert. It was also great to see Cheri back in full force, looking sensational in any outfit, be it as a singer, a grandma, or a reindeer.

Another amusing duet was presented by Scott and Antoine with a parody on ‘Santa Claus is coming town’, with the words,

“You’d better watch out,

You’d better not cry,

You’d better not shout,

There’s no mai pen rai,

The minister is coming to town.” All very politically incorrect, but very clever satire.

As part of the finale, president Becky Lomax gave a short speech, saying, “What brings us together in the choral society is the love of music, and our love of sharing that music. We have learned to listen to each other sing, and to sing with one voice. If the nations of the world, which are also many and of many faiths could learn this lesson, then surely we could have ‘peace on earth, good will to men’.”

And with the real spirit of Christmas being very evident, Khun Waranan, the past president of the choral society, who wished for peace on earth and more understanding amongst each other, announced that the entire proceeds of the concert were to be donated to the blind children of Baan Chulasai.


Asimo stomps into Chiang Mai

Coming for national Children’s Week

Autsadaporn Kamthai

To celebrate national Children’s Day, Honda Thailand plans to bring Asimo to entertain northern children during the ‘Asimo Thailand Tour’ from January 7-9 at the Lanna Hall, Central Airport Plaza.

Honda plans to take the Asimo show to children in all regions and Chiang Mai is set as the first leg for the show.

Pimporn Siriwan from Honda Thailand hands an Asimo doll to Chuchoke Tongtaluang, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Public Relations Office.

Honda engineering spent 14 years designing Asimo, the most human-like robot. Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) was the final result and was first introduced in Japan in 2000. What differentiates Asimo from walking toys is that Asimo can get up from lying down.

Asimo first came to Thailand in 2002 and received warm welcome from Thai children, and both Asimo and the children are looking forward to his return.

The show will demonstrate Asimo’s human-like walking and movement; his interaction with people, such as remembering human faces and imitating human actions. The show will take 45 minutes and up to 2,000 people can watch each show. It is hoped that the show will inspire children’s interest in technology.

Honda, in conjunction with Education Mall is arranging an essay and public speaking competition called “Welcome ASIMO to Chiang Mai”. The winner will give the welcome speech to Asimo at the first show on January 7, 2005.

The show starts on January 7 with show times 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2.30 p.m., 4 p.m., 5.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Asimo show is free of charge for children and tickets can be reserved at 0-5322-5559 from December 18.


New stringed instruments a hit at Prem

David Michaels

The stringed instrument program at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School (Prem) is popular this year, with the purchase of new violins and cellos for the Grade Four class, so that each student now has his own instrument.

Pai uses his bow carefully.

While all the students are accustomed to reading and following musical notation after their study of the recorder in Grade 3, only two students in the class have played a stringed instrument before.

The Grade Four class meets for two group sessions each week. Ajarn Gillian takes them through warm-ups and practice. With a piano accompaniment by Ajarn Nikki, the students learn new songs and refine old ones. Ajarn Gillian said that the stringed instrument practice gives every student the opportunity to be an active participant in music class on a serious instrument, play in ensemble, and know what it is like to practice and read notation. It makes them more confident about participation and helps them appreciate what goes into music.

James is totally focused as he learns a new score in his stringed instrument class at Prem.

Prem can look forward to a stringed instrument performance from the young musicians next term.




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