Vol. VII No. 40 - Tuesday
September 30 - October 6, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Teen beauty contest attracts contestants from Northern region

It’s almost Garden Party time again – donations, please!

Be happy, Keeley – but we’ll miss you!

Friends meet again at Maninarakorn Hotel

Listen, eat, drink and learn – a Lecture Recital at Spirit House

A Master Class with a touch of Magic

Gate Theatre Group casting for “The Eight Reindeer Monologues”

Casting Call for all Demons

Don’t Miss! Special events for the next week – and more

Jungle Cooking Now Offered at Prem!

Teen beauty contest attracts contestants from Northern region

The 22 teenaged beauties who will
go forward to the contest’s next round in Bangkok.

CMM Reporters
The annual countrywide “Miss Teen Thailand 2008” got under way recently at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel in Chiang Mai with the first-round selection of 22 beauties from the Northern provinces, who will all go forward to the next round in Bangkok. Several of the cute contestants, all of whom are aged between 15 and 18, are half Thai and half farang, and all are hoping that their dream to win the contest and become a star comes true. The northern round of the contest was organised by Inspires. Co.

 

It’s almost Garden Party time again – donations, please!

Andy Archer
The Charity Rooftop Committee would like to make an appeal for any old clothes, household items, books etc. Drop off point is the reception desk at Hillside Condominium and Plaza 4, Huay Kaew Road, Chiang Mai. Items collected will either be sold at the Citylife Garden Party or donated to Hill Tribes people, as last year – by the time the Garden Party takes place, it will be getting colder up in them thar hills so any warm clothing would be much appreciated!

All smiles at the Chedi earlier this month.

This year’s Christmas-themed Garden Party will be held on Sunday, November 30, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – a full day of fun and festivity for all is promised, with free admission. If any charity would like a free table, please contact the email address below.
The latest event in the run-up to the 2009 Hillside 4 Rooftop Charity Party was a delicious brunch held at the Chedi on September 20 as a “thank you” for the hotel’s support of last year’s party. Over 40 people attended, the total raised was 12,550 baht, which goes into the steadily increasing “pot” to be shared between the three chosen charities after next January’s party. Upcoming events include a Happy Hour on October 27, also at the Chedi, but with wine supplied by Darling Wine Bar for 350 baht for three glasses. This is followed by a Loy Krathong Dinner at the River Ping Palace right on the river, on Wednesday November 12. Tickets cost 700 baht per person and are limited in number. Between the Loy Krathong Dinner and the Garden Party there is also a fun Day at the Races on November 15, for which tickets will be 250 baht. An essential date for your diary is January 10, the date of the 5th Annual Rooftop Party itself. As regards entertainment, 2009’s event promises to be the best ever!
It’s obvious to us all now that financially, things are getting tough, and are likely to get tougher – it’s a strange world we live in, where the economies of mighty nations can be brought low by the actions of a small, very privileged and totally unprincipled group of people! Perhaps, though, we should remember that the charities the above events will benefit are working with sections of the community who have almost or less than nothing. Compare this with most of our circumstances – however reduced – and remember that at all of the events, the result will be a financial contribution to the Rooftop Fund. Even if you can only go to one of the above – every little helps!
For reservations or further information for any of the upcoming events please contact charityrooftopparty @gmail.com.


Be happy, Keeley – but we’ll miss you!

50 friends ensured a packed house at the Glass Onion at Keeley’s farewell party.

Andy Archer
Earlier this month, Keeley Robinson held a “Farewell to Chiang Mai” party at the Glass Onion on September 20 for over 50 friends, all of whom enjoyed a night of fond memories, laughter, and music. A slide show provided by Jessica Loh and Adama Dedman reminded everyone of the highlights of Keeley’s 3 years in Chiang Mai, and the music was supplied by the Dengue Warriors Band.
During her time in Chiang Mai, Keeley has been an active member of the community, both teaching at Prince Royal and working as a Senior Intern at the Academy for Education USA (ACE). One of her notable achievements was a peer counselling program for safe sex amongst students at Prince Royal and also at Chiang Mai International School (CMIS). Whilst teaching, she became a student herself, learning French, Spanish and, of course, Thai, which she studied with ajarn Piyaporn, the Thai teacher at the US Consulate.
Having achieved fluency in Thai, she emceed numerous events around Chiang Mai, particularly for Zonta International, with which she was heavily involved. She also found time to take to the stage in both ‘That Takes Ovaries’ and ‘The Vagina Monologues;’ both were plays dealing with women’s issues. Somehow, this amazing woman seems to have managed to find 25 hours in each day, and use them all!
Whilst living in Thailand, she took the opportunity to travel extensively to Mongolia, Taiwan (on a Buddhist meditation retreat), Laos, Australia, New Zealand and countless countries in Europe. Keeley is now off back home to the United States, and the Chiang Mai Mail would like to join all the friends she is leaving behind in thanking her for her generous support of the local community and wishing her well in whatever she does next. She will be sadly missed!
If you are having an event, why not invite aroundtown @chiangmai-mail.com to make it that extra bit special?


Friends meet again at Maninarakorn Hotel

Supajee Nilubol (6th right), the Honorary Swedish Consul in Chiang Mai,
at the Chiang Mai Friends Meeting.

George Powell
Chiang Mai Friends Group held their regular monthly meeting September 24 at the Maninarakorn Hotel on Sridonchai Road. After socialising and enjoying an excellent buffet dinner, the 27 guests were invited to plant another tree on the open ground opposite the hotel before the meeting itself began at 7 p.m.
This month’s guest of honour was Supajee Nilubol, the Honorary Consul for Sweden in Chiang Mai, whose husband was the former Thai Ambassador to Sweden. She gave an interesting talk on ‘How a Thai lady became a Swedish Consul’ and also explored the concept that Thailand may be a second home for Swedish people, touching on the generosity of Swedish people expressed in their donations to various foundations in Thailand. She explained that Swedish people, used as they are to cold, long winters, much prefer the weather in Chiang Mai, and appreciate the friendly and peaceful natures of their Thai neighbours and friends. She also mentioned the vastly less expensive cost of living in Thailand! During her 4 years in Sweden with her husband, she was thrilled to discover the generosity of the Swedish people towards Thailand, from HM the Queen of Sweden, who funds several NGO projects in Thailand, down to the average person. As an example of Swedish concern for others, she told how people pick berries and mushrooms in the forest, just enough for themselves to eat, leaving the rest for others.
As the Honorary Consul, she explained that around 348 Swedes live in the area, mostly in the jungles and mountain areas in Pai, Chiang Mai and Lamphun, similar in topography to Sweden itself. She mentioned cases of Swedes overstaying and ending up in jail, and the unfortunate Swedish gentleman who transferred 9 million baht into his girlfriend’s bank account and lost the lot! On the bright side, she said she had found another man, aged 83 who lives with his ex-wife, parents of his ex-wife, two children and even the new husband of his ex-wife, he supports the whole family and could not be happier. She emphasised how important it is that foreigners learn about and obey Thai law, as well as respecting Thai culture. As she is a Thai representing Swedes living here, she is concerned with trying to protect and promote better understanding on both sides. A most interesting and enjoyable talk, well received by all. For further info on the next meeting please contact Duenpen Chaladlam (Boong) at [email protected]
The Swedish Consulate is located at 186/48 Green Valley, Mo 5 Mae Sa, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180. Telephone 053-298-632 email [email protected]


Listen, eat, drink and learn – a Lecture Recital at Spirit House

Elena Edwards
For those of us who were in the audience at the Spirit House restaurant’s first early music concert, last week’s follow-up event was something to look forward to.

The unique venue of the Spirit House Restaurant – a perfect place for sacred music.
We weren’t disappointed, and listened with fascination as Antoine Garth explained the development of both secular and sacred music in the great European religious centres from as early as the 13th century. Entitled “Lecture-Recital – The development of the Renaissance Motet,” his fascinating narrative was accompanied by examples of polyphonic music by the most famous composers contemporary to the period, beautifully sung by the Anima Mundi early music ensemble.
Interestingly, he explored a possible link between early church music through Gregorian chants back to their possible origin in the sacred chants of ancient Judaism, and went on to trace its development through the beginning of Renaissance-style motets up to the summit of the style in the 16th century, as represented by the composer da Palestrina, famous even in modern times. Antoine also noted that, as many of the audience were aware; that Spirit House seemed to be the perfect venue for the performance of sacred music, due to its spiritual “feeling” and the Buddhist antiques displayed around the room.
“Mine host,” Steve, provided the usual genial service and friendly welcome, plus, of course, a delicious buffet, included in the ticket price. Fans of this beautiful and peaceful style of music enjoyed the evening enormously, and are looking forward to further concerts at this unique venue.

Antoine, conducting the Anima Mundi early music ensemble during the recital.


A Master Class with a touch of Magic

Jean-Pierre Kirkland
On Saturday evening, September 20, in place of the master class cancelled due to the illness of celebrated pianist Andrew Wilde, the ever genial and enterprising Santi opened the doors of his music school to an audience who were honoured to listen to the talents of six teenagers performing on the piano. And it really was an honour to be there in the presence of these young dedicated musicians who played with such skill, determination and passion. Antoine Garth replaced Andrew Wilde as ‘master musician’ for the evening and did an admirable job in enabling these young people to improve both their techniques on the keyboard as well as their interpretative skills.

Phaphorn Chaimuk, shown during her wonderful performance of Chopin’s Etude Op. 10 No. 10.

These students at Santi’s School of Music, Rebecca Simpson, who played Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor, K. 397, Phaphorn Chaimuk (Gift), whose choice was the Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 10, Pimsiree Wattanasirakul (Amy), who performed Chopin’s Valse in B minor, Op. 69 No. 2, Pantisa Sattayawiwat (Sai), who gave us Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 1, Khwanchanok Koonrungsesomboon (Nok) with Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8 No. 8, and Thanakrit Lueangthongkam (Dome) with a Beethoven Sonata, Op. 28, had been rehearsing for this event for almost six months and it showed. Some of the pieces were played with great understanding and realistic interpretive skills; others were more technically correct. No matter – Antoine used his skill and knowledge as a musician and teacher to correct, advise and enlarge upon what the audience first heard. This resulted in much improved interpretations of the wide range of music by Mozart, Chopin, Scriabin and Beethoven, with all the students learning more about the feeling and emotion in each piece.
Joseph Conrad, the renowned author, once wrote: “Oh youth! The strength of it, the faith of it, the imagination of it!” And those words aptly summed up the wonderful performances that each of the students gave. Each young musician gave a strong interpretation of their chosen piece; they had faith in their abilities to convey this to the audience; and with guidance and help from Antoine, they used their imagination to impress and enlighten the audience. This was a rare and unique opportunity for the students and audience to experience and it is very much hoped that Santi will use his innovative skills to further promote such delightful events. Music lovers have a duty to encourage, listen to and support emerging talents such as these young people and everyone in the audience – fellow students, parents and visitors, was grateful for having been present at this very special occasion with its touch of magic.


Gate Theatre Group casting for “The Eight Reindeer Monologues”

Stephan Turner
Chiang Mai’s own Gate Theatre Company is casting for their next production, a dark comedy by Jeff Goode entitled “The Eight Reindeer Monologues.” Auditions will take place October 5 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the 7th floor Studio Theatre, Central Kad Suan Kaew. Required are 3 women and 5 men who can play an age range from the late 20’s upwards. Everyone auditioning for a role should be prepared to read from the script, which is available for copying at the AUA.
As the title suggests, the play is a series of eight monologues, one from each of Santa’s reindeer. A resume of the play sets the scene in Santa’s toyshop, but notes that it’s rated “R” for mature audience. Definitely not for kids! “Accusations, rumors and all-out attacks are flying fast and furious around Santa’s toyshop this holiday season. What’s the true story behind Rudolph’s unlikely rise to fame? Does Mrs. Claus have a serious drinking problem? Can St. Nick himself really be guilty of sexual harassment... against one of the reindeer? And with all this going on, how can the spirit of Christmas be saved? Go behind the tinsel and hear the truth about Santa straight from the eight reindeer who know him best. When a doe says “No,” she means “No Way, Sucka!”
Those interested in auditioning or being a part of the show in any way whatsoever should respond to thegatetheater @asia.com or call 087-177-2197 and leave a message. Someone will call you back. Rehearsals are due to begin at the end of November.
At present in rehearsal is the Gate’s third production, Stephen Metcalfe’s beautifully told, timely story of love, loss, healing and hope, “Strange Snow.” Under the direction of Stephan Turner, Strange Snow features performances by Robert Young, Nathan Kieffer, and Veronica Guarino.
Strange snow falls on two young Vietnam veterans as they reunite for a fishing trip to make good on a long lost promise to an old friend. It’s dawn on Opening Day and Megs shows up at his buddy David’s house only to encounter David’s shy, plain sister Martha. Megs’ larger-than-life nature coaxes Martha out of her shell and into his heart. His mere presence, however, brings up painful memories of Vietnam for David, whose method of coping so far has been to drink too much and talk as little as possible. The play’s initial success led to the film “Jack-knife” with Metcalfe writing the script and Robert De Niro starring.
“Strange Snow” opens December 5 and will run Fridays and Saturdays through December 20 at Kad Suan Kaew’s 7th floor Studio Theatre, which seems as though it is becoming a regular venue for the Gate. Doors open at 7 p.m. with curtain at 7:30 p.m.


Casting Call for all Demons

George Powell
ArtSpace Factory is holding a casting call for all who would like to perform at their ‘’Beelzebub’s Halloween Hullabaloo’’ which will take place on October 31 at the Artspace Factory on Kamphaengdin Soi 3. The event will last from 9 p.m. until 2 p.m. and will include a live performance by the Alchemy Pops Band, the perfect 5 piece band to dance to!
At the witching hour itself, Beelzebub’s Midnight Cabaret, with performances by Antoine Garth, Robert Service, and many others, will chill and thrill the gathered guests. Anyone wishing to take part should contact Laura or Bradley on [email protected], Tel: 085-622-6607.
Evil Elixirs will be on offer at the bar throughout the night, along with Slithering Snacks and Terrifying Treats. A Creepy Costume Contest will be held, with Ghastly Gifts for the winners. Tickets in advance, available now, are 250 baht, or 400 baht at the door. Free broomstick parking will be made available for representatives of local media. For more details, please visit www.artspacechiangmai.com.


Don’t Miss! Special events for the next week – and more

September 25-October 5: We all love orchids, even those of us who can’t seem to grow them successfully. A visit to Airport Plaza’s Northern Village might help us to understand more about these beautiful plants. Maejo University and Botanic Gardens are holding an orchid festival there on the above dates. Exhibits will include paintings, photos and workshops.
October 2: An Ensemble Recital will take place at Payap University’s Duriyasilp Department of Music, Room NB1, on their Kaew Narawat Campus, situated opposite McCormick Hospital, beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is free. Taking part will be 5 student ensembles; clarinet, brass, saxophone, strings and a piano and wind quartet. Payap’s student concerts are becoming very popular due to the high standard of the young performers.
October 26: The Russian violinist Vadin Tchijak will be making his fourth visit to Chiang Mai, sponsored by Alliance Francaise and Payap University. He will be giving a concert together with Japanese pianist Sayaka Funakoshi at Payap’s Surisai Hall, featuring classics by Beethoven, Piazzola and Cesar Franc. Born in Russia, Vadin is considered a maestro at the early age of 33, is based in Paris and regularly tours Europe giving concerts and master classes. Sayaka is also based in Paris, and is a professor at two major conservatoires. Admission to the concert will be 200 baht.


Jungle Cooking Now Offered at Prem!

George Powell
As the rainy season slowly comes to an end, the Visiting Schools Program at Prem plans to reap the benefits of its flourishing new crops.

Nittaya “Nit” Papasak, Becca Haack and Izzy Bartley (l/r) using a bamboo pestle and mortar to grind herbs grown on the farm.
Staff members have developed a new program that introduces students to an alternative cooking method using natural resources from the forests surrounding the school’s organic farm. The first trial program was held September 17, with four staff members heading up four more staff. On arrival at the sala, where large sections of bamboo had already been cut and sticky rice had been soaked overnight, the 8 staff members divided the bamboo sections into 30 cm lengths and filled them with either sticky rice or beaten eggs. The filled stems were then inserted upright in the cooking fire so that the upper sections remained clear of the flames. Banana leaves were used to make containers for a variety of fresh vegetables gathered that morning.
As part of the main course, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, chillies, fish, pork and tofu were slowly roasted over the open fire on bamboo skewers. The verdict? According to participant Izzy Bartley, Prem’s Outdoor Adventure Coordinator, the meal was “Aroi mahk mahk,” even although his tofu was “slightly charcoaled” because he’d left it in the flame for too long. The half day program is now available to anyone interested. For more information and variations please contact Izzy on [email protected]



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