A Thrilling Evening
of Violin and Piano
On Sunday October 26, at Payap University’s acoustically wonderful
Sairusee Hall, a large audience was thrilled by the magical sounds of violin
virtuoso Vadim Tchijik and his delightful accompanist Sayaka Funakoshi.
what a magnificent performance these two very talented and devoted
Paris-based musicians gave us! They opened with a broad and very deeply
reflective interpretation of Beethoven’s gloriously tuneful ‘Spring Sonata’
– and how it bubbled with energy and life! The violin soared through the
auditorium while the piano gave us a vibrant and totally supportive
accompaniment to the enthralling sounds Vadim produced. The first movement
emerged as a powerful statement of passion and energy. Vadim was at his most
expressive in the lyrical and tender adagio which reached peaks of emotional
clarity – subtle, persuasive, reflective and at times poignant. The third
and final movements were both played with tremendous vigour, the sensuous
tone of his 200 year-old French violin echoing through the hall in this
By sharp contrast musically came ‘Le Grand Tango’ by 20th century composer
Astor Piazzola. This marvellous virtuoso piece was played with great
enthusiasm and determination. In parts it required very agile fingering and
Vadim rose to the occasion with great dexterity; the piece had constantly
changing rhythms which made significant demands on the musicians to support
each other, which they accomplished admirably. Although parts of this work
sounded nothing whatsoever like a tango, the final flourish was one of those
magic moments in music – frenetic and furious to the finish and so
The second half was devoted to the nostalgic and wistful Cesar Franck Violin
Sonata, played with deep sentiment and firm control. The mellow cadenza-like
melodies were a delight to hear in this very masterful and often passionate
performance. Born in Moscow, but now professor of violin in two Paris
conservatoires, Vadim was completely at home with this lovely piece if
mid-romantic writing. He gave a penetrating and thoughtful interpretation,
so essential for this genre of music. At only 33 years old, Vadim has
already been ‘dubbed’ as a maestro by one leading French magazine and I
doubt if anyone in the audience that night would have queried such an
We were treated to exciting and thrilling playing on both piano and violin,
carefully balanced with lyrical and tender moments of great beauty. And we
were rewarded with a delightful encore by Elgar which made a tuneful close
to a memorable evening. Thanks to the ‘Alliance Franšaise’ for their
sponsorship of this superb evening and to Payap University for hosting the
event. It is two years since Vadim played here in Chiang Mai – let us hope
that he will return very soon to delight us with more of his masterful
Woven Wisdom – Masterpieces from Studio Naenna Archives
Patricia Cheesman is pleased to announce the opening of a new
gallery space on the grounds of Studio Naenna. For the first exhibition,
Woven Wisdom, exquisite prized art textiles have been unearthed from the
inner chamber, never before seen in public. Selected for their beauty,
unique artistic merit, complexity and symbolic meaning, these art pieces,
woven by master weaver Viroy Nanthapoom and designed by Patricia, are to be
shared with the public. In this manner, they will spin their stories into
the world, weaving their magic.
traditional costumes, shown being modelled at Studio Naenna.
Studio Naenna is a non-profit company and marketing arm for Weavers for the
Environment (WFE), providing fair trade for skilled work. Its purpose is to
conserve and preserve the ancient wisdom of traditional Thai ikat weaving
and natural dyeing, using only environmentally friendly methods of textile
production, thus preserving precious techniques for generations to come.
Innovative surface designs by Patricia have brought Studio Naenna and WFE
into the 21st century and into clients’ homes, weaving and designing both
from the heart and from the community. Lamorna Cheesman continues this
legacy as manager of both Studio Naenna locations in Chiang Mai.
The Patricia Cheesman Collection showcases several exhibits each year,
making 30 year archives of original woven ikats, antique textiles, ceramics,
furniture and collectables available to the public for purchase. Sales from
Woven Wisdom will be used to raise funds and awareness to preserve and
sustain the valuable traditional textile skills practiced by WFE’s over 100
village women. Invite their spirit into your collection, whilst breathing
life into their future.
The exhibition will open on November 9, with the Opening Artist Reception
taking place between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and will close on February 28, 2009.
For further information, please contact Lamorna on 081-595-8758, email on
[email protected],com, or visit www. studio-naenna.com.The exhibition
will take place at The Patricia Cheesman Collection Gallery, Studio Naenna,
138/8 Soi Changkhian, Huay Kaew Rd, T. Changpeuak, Chiang Mai.
Shown are traditional antique skirts from
Patricia Cheesman’s personal collection at Studio Naenna.
Akha traditional medicine to be promoted in Chiang Rai
PRD Chiang Rai
A workshop was held recently at the College of Folk and Alternative
Medicine at Chiang Rai’s Rajabhat University, focusing on research projects
in the field of traditional folk medicine undertaken by members of the Akha
ethnic group. According to Kraisit Sittichodok, Akha tribespeople possess
inherited knowledge of herbal and physical therapies going back almost 1,000
years, which are proving viable and successful in the 21st century.
It would seem that, due to the remote and mountainous location of many Akha
villages and the duration and cost of non-local treatment for specific
diseases, members of the ethnic group are preferring to seek traditional
treatments in their own areas rather than travel to the lowlands to receive
modern medical assistance. These treatments are proving successful in cases
of paralysis and other illnesses.
As a result, a community hospital project and traditional medicine education
centres are being set up, and simple folk medicine will be taught to hill
tribe children and villagers. The community hospital project will be funded
by the Japanese Embassy, and Mae Fah Luang, Mae Suay and Muang districts in
Chiang Rai will receive medical service and education centres. In addition,
a number of Akha students will be supported at Rabjahat University in their
studies of alternative medicine as well as standard medical training.
Three Thai sites win UNESCO heritage awards for conservation projects
Three Thai sites have received awards in the 2008 UNESCO
Asia-Pacific Heritage awards given for sympathetic conservation and
restoration projects in areas of cultural and historical significance. 45
entries from 13 Asian countries were submitted for consideration.
An award of merit was given to Lampang’s Wat Pongsanuk, with Samut
Songkhram’s Amphawa Canal Community and the Crown Property Bureau’s building
in Chachoengsao receiving honourable mention awards. The restoration of Wat
Pongsanuk, a unique Lanna temple, was a community-led project, utilising the
skills of local monks and residents as well as experts in traditional crafts
and academic advisors, all supported by local authorities. The conservation
of the traditional urban settlements alongside the Amphawa Canal and the
sympathetic reconstruction of its historic buildings was considered by
UNESCO as worthy of honourable mention due to the threat to similar areas
throughout Thailand. The Crown Property Bureau’s Building in Chachoengsao
Province had been extensively damaged by fire. Its restoration and the
careful and historically researched manner in which it was undertaken has
saved an important heritage site for the immediate area and the province.
The awards were presented to the Director of the Crown Property Bureau, Dr.
Chirayu Isarangkun, by Sheldon Shaeffer, the director of UNESCO Bangkok, at
Laddawan Palace on October 27.