Vol. VIII No. 15 - Tuesday
April 14 - April 20, 2009



Home
Automania
News
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Art, Music & Culture
Happenings
Dining Out & Entertainment
Features
Academia Nuts
Social Scene
Reflections
Chiang Mai FeMail
Daily Horoscope
Cartoons
Happy Birthday HM Queen Sirikit
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Advertising Rates
Classifieds
Back Issues
Updated every Tuesday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Art, Music & Culture • Entertainment • Lifestyles
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Stars and Gems – Benefit Concert for Vieng Ping Children’s Home

A fascinating combination of new and old…’Monsters in Hand’

The Spirit of Thailand

Chiang Mai Young Performers’ Showcase at AUA.

Move over Hong Kong, Chiang Mai’s in production

 

Stars and Gems – Benefit Concert for Vieng Ping Children’s Home

Jai-Pee
On April 8th at the AUA Auditorium, a group of guitarists, a violinist, dancers and singers gathered to provide an evening of music for the benefit of the Vieng Ping Children’s Home in Mae Rim. This home accommodates children up to six years old and girls aged between seven and eighteen, and is run under the auspices of the Department of Social Development and Welfare, caring for HIV positive children and youngsters who have been orphaned by the deaths of AIDs- infected parents. It was good to see the hall two thirds full, with a mainly Thai audience and a scattering of foreigners.
Generally, the music was interesting and lively, if a little repetitive, often the case as few composers write for the guitar, let alone the combination of guitar and violin. The music was chosen and performed by teachers and students, with some stars and gems in the repertoire. One student from Mahidol University, a real star, delighted us with a sparkling performance of Barrios Mangore’s El Ultimo Tremelo. What a magical gem this piece of music was and how well the young performer captured its spirit and intention. Rippling tremolos painted a rich harmonic background to a wistfully delightful melody that was both haunting and soul-searching. One of the teachers played music arranged for guitar by Bach, as well as a piece by Rodrigo, with surety and determination, tackling the tricky fingering with dexterity. His colleague joined him on the violin for pieces by Vivaldi and Paganini, as well as closing with a set of variations for violin and guitar by Giuliani. The first half came to an enchanting finale with guitar duet, percussion and traditional dancers, whose costumes and graceful movements made for an elegant conclusion.
In the second half, several students took to the stage to perform a range of pieces for guitar duet with significant skill, technical mastery and enjoyment. The anonymously composed Romanza in D was another gem, played with love and affection by the two star performers. Two pieces by Carulli followed, the second a Rondo in G, which so captivated the audience that they began applauding in the middle of the piece after the A-B-A not realizing that the full Rondo form is A-B-A-C-A! Such things often occur in the great opera houses and concert halls—the performers were in no way put off their stride as they smiled and played on! Three songs were included towards the end of the concert, well sung and interpreted. All in all, with almost two full hours of music, this was exceptionally good value for money and all in a very worthwhile cause.
For more information on Vieng Ping Children’s Home, please visit the website at: www.baanviengping.com

 

A fascinating combination of new and old…’Monsters in Hand’

Every home should have one…a selection of glazed ceramic ‘Monsters’ on show at Pongnoi Art Space

CMM reporters
Celadon ceramics have been produced in the north of Thailand for hundreds of years, and are now one of the kingdom’s most popular exports. Traditionally, the firing of the hand-crafted shapes took place in wood-fired ovens, used all over Asia since ancient times. Replaced during the last few decades by electric ovens, examples of the original ovens may still be seen at several of the ceramic factories in the Chiang Mai area. The difficulties of controlling firing temperatures in wood- burning ovens gave rise to attractive variations in the glazes if the finished products; however, the environmental problems caused by a large number of wood-burning ovens in constant production need no explanation!
Although traditional patterns and styles are still popular, innovation invariably takes place in all art forms, including ceramics. A Thai- born Australian potter, Vipoo Srivilasa, has inspired a new style of decorative ceramic manufacture at one of Chiang Mai’s celadon factories where he is now artist-in-residence, Thai Celadon Ceramics, founded in 1960. An exhibition, inspired by Vipoo and showing ceramics produced by workers at the factory following his recent 3-week training workshop, was held on April 4, featuring not traditional plates, cups and vases….but Monsters! Vipoo’s workshop encouraged potters at the factory to think for themselves, to create from their feelings and to combine tradition with innovation in design and subject matter.
But, why monsters? According to Vipoo, nobody has any idea or expectations about monsters, therefore, monsters can be anything an artist wishes! The monsters in the exhibition are not ugly or devilish, they are funny, they smile, they are totally different from anything seen before, because they are the products of imagination. They show the creativity of the potters, they show their escape from the normality of 40 years’ production of the same designs, week after week. For the first time in their lives, the ceramic artists have been asked to do something new, filling their creations with their own knowledge, ideas and feelings. ‘Our monsters laugh...because they’re happy to be there, to be born!’ says Vipoo.
Over 100 guests attended the opening of the exhibition, entitled, ‘Monsters by Hands’, held at the Pongnoi Art Space Gallery, and presided over by Chao Dr. Duanduang na Chiengmai, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Culture. Many of the pieces in the exhibition were immediately purchased!. A very unusual piece represented an elephant, portrayed as very sick and unhappy. Vipoo explained the sculpture represented Thailand—the elephant is the traditional symbol of the kingdom— its sad state is representative of political and other problems facing the country at present. Another ceramic elephant, designed by Vipoo’s associate, Khun Kittiporn, an artist who normally works on paper, is shown with holes all over its body. Vipoo explained that this sculpture, although similar in inspiration, also shows that change is possible.
With the exhibition, Vipoo has fulfilled his dream in giving inspiration and direction to ceramic artists at Thai Celadon Ceramics, encouraging them to create new concepts and designs formed from a traditional material with traditional skills—a highly successful combination of new and old.
The exhibition will run until April 26, (closed during Songkran), at Pongnoi Art Space, Moo5, Thumbol Suthep. Open Tuesday –Friday 1-6 p.m., Sat/Sun 11-6 p.m.Tel:- 081-288-3908.


The Spirit of Thailand

Jai-Pee
An historic event took place in the Saisuree Hall on April 4th with Payap University’s staging of the first evening of Thai Traditional Music in Chiang Mai. All the music was played on traditional instruments by performers who had a clear love of both their instruments and the music itself. Dressed appropriately in traditional costumes, the players gave performances on eight solo instruments with backing from a range of percussionists playing drums and Indian cymbals. And what a delightful and inspiring session it was – sounds that were full of flavour and colour, exciting rhythms, masterful performances in a warm and relaxing atmosphere – who could ask for anything more? Outside the hall, the entrance area was tastefully decorated with candles, flowers and ornaments with the smell of jasmine incense pervading the waiting area. Inside, two comperes gave us a brief and very helpful introduction in Thai and English to each piece of music, the composer and the performers. All the musicians came from Chiang Mai and were extremely proficient and accomplished. Opening on the Saw-Sam-Sai, a three-stringed instrument from the Ayutthaya period, the audience was treated to a composition by King Rama II, often performed in Thai high society and at court. The sounds, akin to the sound of the violin’s lower register, took us on a journey back in time to an era when the river was the focus of Thai society with its banks full of activity and the water full of small boats. The concert continued with wonderful performances on the Saw-Daeng, a two-stringed instrument with a viola-like sound, the Saw-U, with its deeper, richer cello-like sounds from its two strings and finally to the rich harmonies on the Ja-Khae, which resembled the hurdy-gurdy in shape, played skillfully with two hands  - the left playing the melody using a short wooden stick to control the vibrations of the flat strings while the right hand darted over the strings in a manner similar to fingering on the guitar.
The second half of this extraordinary evening was full of contrast – gone were the strings to be replaced by firstly the Pee-Nai, a woodwind instrument with a hollow reedy sound played with great enthusiasm, control and poise in a difficult piece by a young student. Two more young people performed their interesting and fast moving pieces on the Ranat-Ek and Ranat-Thum, both types of xylophone, with concentration and skill. Another contrast was the music of the circular Gong-Wong-Yai, producing glockenspiel- like sounds, giving eerie floating tones that echoed through the hall. Following the final piece, all the players and many of their accompanists joined forces on stage for a tremendous encore finale – thirteen players making superb music full of radiant harmonies as these beautiful instruments combined in the sweet melodies which brought to life a Siam of the past in all its colour and glory. This was a refreshing and informative experience—the audience, largely Thai with just a handful of foreigners, were most impressed and shouted vociferously for more! How good it is to learn and know that this wonderful heritage of sound and colour is safe in the hands of these dedicated musicians, many of them young, who delighted, impressed and refreshed us with their playing. Full marks to Payap for organizing such an event!


Chiang Mai Young Performers’ Showcase at AUA.

Elena Edwards
On the evening of April 25 at 7.30 p.m., the studio theatre at AUA will be the venue for a very special concert given by 13 young and very talented pianists and string players from the Santi Music School. All were individually chosen and scheduled to perform at a Young Performers’ showcase during the recent dance festival; however, organisational problems forced the cancellation of their recital.
The recital will begin with Dome, 23, who will play the opening movement of a Beethoven piano sonata, followed by Mamplaw, 12, the youngest performer, who will play a Bach Gavotte in D major for violin. Next, we will hear Gift, aged 16, who will play Chopin’s Etude No 3 in E major, Opus 10, a hauntingly beautiful composition, followed by Sai, aged 17, playing Chopin’s Etude Opus 25 No.1, also known as the Shepherd’s Song.
Two more of Chopin’s compositions will follow, a Waltz in C sharp minor Opus 64 no. 2, played by Nok, 16, and another, very melancholy, waltz, this time in B minor, played by Amy, 15. Following will be an etude by Franz List, one of many he wrote for the piano, played on this occasion by Wan, aged 15. A little-known piece by Pieczonka, a Tarantella, will be performed by one of the youngest pianists, Pon, aged 13, followed by Nat, 17, playing the opening movement of a Mozart piano sonata. An orchestral dance, again by Mozart, arranged for violin by Arthur Moffat, will be performed by Ken, aged 14, followed by Get, 20, who will play one of Mendelssohn’s ‘Songs without Words’, the Scherzo in E minor.
An interesting piece will follow, played by Oak, aged 13, —a modern Chinese classical composition by Jay Chou, ‘The Time Travel Theme from Secret’ The final piece of the evening is an arrangement of a Schubert March Militaire, originally written as a piano duet, arranged here in D major for 3 violins and 2 cellos.
A varied and interesting programme, performed by dedicated youngsters to whom music is a way of life! The suggested minimum donation of 100 baht per guest will be given in full to a local, underfunded school, in order to buy musical instruments. Your generosity, as well as your presence at this specially rearranged concert, will be much appreciated.


Move over Hong Kong, Chiang Mai’s in production

CMM Reporters
The recent announcement by Creative Kingdom of its 8 billion baht film studio project, set on 30 rai of land in San Kamphaeng district, seems to have spurred an interest in Thailand as a destination for movie moguls.
According to the company’s CEO, Eduardo Robles, Chiang Mai is the perfect location due to its lower costs, its good facilities, its international airport and its skilled workers.  In addition, Eduardo envisages Thailand as a great location for the production of films such as the highly successful Slumdog Millionaire.
The project, involving 6 studios, is due for completion in 2014, and is hoping to attract foreign film production companies, perhaps helping to develop the industry in Chiang Mai as the next ‘Hollywood Asia’ by attracting film-makers from more expensive locations such as Hong Kong.
In addition to the Chiang Mai project, another larger studio and production complex is under construction on 2000 rai of land in Phet­chaburi province.  Twentieth June Entertainment’s CEO, Toranong Srichua, gives the same reasons for his company’s investment in Thailand, and goes further, explaining that, “Thailand could be one of the best film-production locations in the world for several reasons.  It has both seas and mountains, giving good backgrounds for shooting, plus many skilled employees in the film industry who work at lower wages than in the US and other countries.  Apart from Hollywood and Bollywood, I have a strong belief Thailand could be a major destination for film-makers in three or four years.  If the country can achieve this target, we can also generate revenue from the tourism industry, as the beauty of our locations will be broadcast to people worldwide.”
Twentieth June Entertain­ment’s complex, due to open next year, is expected to be the largest in the world, with local and international production contracts reported to be under negotiation.
The Thai Board of Investment’s senior executive investment adviser, Hirunya Suchinai , noted that Thailand has strengths in highly skilled human resources which help to attract investment from global movie production companies, giving potential to generate income and boost the employment rate, explaining that, “Although the investment in equipment and facilities in this industry is not as high as in others, it can create income and jobs for other related industries, such as tourism, which are the real benefits we need.”
Hirunya also pointed out that, since the year 2000, her office has operated a policy of granting tax incentives to the film industry.



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.