Vol. VIII No. 37 - Tuesday
September 15 - September 21, 2009



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


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

Jarun Manothep - The Music Lives On

Nocturnes and Barcarolles Part 5

Chiang Mai’s Gate Theatre opens 4th season with ‘The Odd Couple’

Crabtree is bitterly disappointed!

‘Decadence’ DJ’s in Chiang Mai

New entertainment complex to be launched early November

 

Jarun Manothep - The Music Lives On

Jai-Pee
Imagine walking into a wide-open glade surrounded by giant trees casting cool shadows across the thick green grass. 

A musical tribute to Jarun Manothep, in the peaceful setting of the CMU Arts Centre gardens on the 8th anniversary of his death.
The sun is shining in a gentian blue sky speckled with white cotton-wool clouds and the wind is rustling through the trees sending showers of leaves towards the grass. Tucked in among the trees are old Lanna style wooden houses enjoying the peace and tranquility of this secluded place. And then, the gentle sounds of a guitar playing Kit Teung Baan (I Miss my Home) come wafting through the trees and there, suddenly, is the stage, the performer, dozens of people sitting and lying on the grass and paying silent tribute to that great and most honoured son of Chiang Mai, Jarun Manothep, whose music has inspired a nation and continues to do so eight years after his untimely death aged 50 in 2544 (2001).

The great Northern folk music diva, Suntaree Wechanon, a much-loved friend, fellow musician and co-recording artist with Jarun, singing her love for him on stage at his memorial.
Each year, Jarun’s former manager, Manit, organises this special day for those thousands of people who wish to remember one of Thailand’s greatest and most respected singer-songwriters. Jarun was born in Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai in 2494 (1951) and began his career here where he lived, continuing in his home-town until he was half-way through his life. He began entertaining locally in 2520 (1977) and continued in this vein until a couple of years later when he moved to Bangkok and then started touring the country promoting his ballads and songs. He returned here frequently and always missed his home when absent due to work, hence the composing of that wonderful song, Kit Teung Baan. He was frequently joined on stage by the great diva of the north, Suntaree Wechanon, who honoured the day’s festivities by performing several versions of Jarun’s songs with her small ensemble as the sun set. The sound of her amazing voice and the accompanying guitars was incredible, showing nothing but deep love for a fellow musician so greatly admired and so sadly missed..
Over forty performers, including Jarun’s son and grandson, took to the stage at the rear of the Arts Centre of Chiang Mai University on September 3 for a seven-hour marathon of musical and poetical tributes, with the evening audience numbers well into the hundreds. The playing was supremely exquisite as musicians of the highest calibre honoured the man who has left not just a legacy of over 350 songs, but a following of millions who listen to and enjoy his marvellous music. About 40% of his songs were written in the northern dialect, the frequently performed Sau Chiang Mai (Girl from Chiang Mai) being an obvious example. Many of the songs are accompanied by a unique lilting melodic rhythm which is the hallmark of this intoxicating music.
Performers ranged from soloists with guitar, small groups of two or three through to larger ensembles five-strong in number. Using a mixture of traditional and modern instruments, song after song flowed through the peaceful air just like the composition that encapsulates so much of Jarun’s work, Lawng Mae Ping (Along The Mae Ping River). This glorious and famous masterpiece with its persuasively lilting and rippling rhythm is now a firmly established northern classic and it was performed, as were all the songs, with love, humility and great respect. In between some of the songs came poetic tributes and anecdotes from his life – some of them accompanied by solo instruments or small groups of musicians playing quietly in the background. The overwhelming characteristic of this celebration of Jarun’s achievements was seeing a united Thailand paying respect to one of their beloved sons – and the atmosphere was sheer beauty – trees with sunlight filtering through, blue sky, wooden houses and the vast repertoire of melodies that delight and inspire the Thai musical world today.

 

Nocturnes and Barcarolles Part 5

CMM reporters
An extraordinary range of musical styles will be presented at the 5th concert in the series ‘Nocturnes and Barcarolles’, presented by Chiang Mai’s Bennett Lerner and his friends. The concert will take place at 7.30 pm. on October 3 at Payap University’s Saisuree Chutikul Music Hall on the Mae Kao campus. .
As with the rest of the series, the focus is on the great French composer Gabriel Faure, balanced by works from his noted contemporaries. The evening’s music will include 3 of Faure’s nocturnes and 2 barcarolles, composed in his somewhat sombre ‘late style’, between 1908 and 1915 and played by Bennett Lerner, whose love for and interpretation of Faure’s compositions is well-known.
Chiang Mai’s own, very talented, young pianist Achira Assawadecharit will play two of the great composer’s most brilliant and virtuosic piano pieces, the Impromptu in A-flat major and the Valse-Caprice No. 2 in D-flat major.
Music by Fauré’s contemporaries will focus on the years 1914-1915, and includes the witticisms of Igor Stravinsky’s Three Easy Pieces for Piano Duet, written for the amusement of his friends Sergei Diaghilev, the great ballet master, and Erik Satie. Also presented will be the intense aphorisms of Anton Webern’s Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, with the three pieces lasting all of 2 minutes and 18 seconds!
Finally, the hard-driving rhythms of Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, (which more than live up to their name!), and the Pierrot-like elegance and humour of Debussy’s late work, the Cello Sonata, will delight the audience. The guest cellist in the Debussy and Webern works will be Apichai Leamthong, one of Thailand’s foremost cellists and professor at Rangsit University.
Tickets are available at 200 baht, 100 baht for students. For more information, please call 053-248-037


Chiang Mai’s Gate Theatre opens 4th season with ‘The Odd Couple’

Final rehearsals of ‘The Odd Couple’ by Neil Simon went very well recently, with the whole cast enjoying themselves enormously.

CMM reporters
The Gate Theatre’s run of ‘The Odd Couple’, opened at Kad Suan Kaew’s Studio Theatre last Friday, and will continue each Friday and Saturday evening at 7.p.m until September 26. Doors open at 6:00 pm for food and drinks.
Neil Simon’s box office hit traces the lives of the infamously mismatched roommates Felix Ungar, a neurotic fusspot news writer and Oscar Madison, a slovenly sports journalist. At his wife’s insistence, Felix is evicted from his home and abandoned at his childhood friend Oscar’s door. Deep down, he knows she had every right to kick him out, but harbours the hope of someday returning to her once so loving arms. Oscar, likewise, has been given the boot by Mrs. Madison, with a request that he never return. Can these two share an apartment without driving each other insane?
The laughs are non-stop in this classic hit from one of America’s greatest comedy writers. The show premiered on Broadway in 1965 at the Plymouth Theatre starring Walter Matthau as Oscar and Art Carney as Felix. This year’s performance stars Brian Hubbard as Oscar and Richard Childs as Felix, and is directed by the group’s founder, Stephan Turner. It rounds out its side-splitting cast with Robert Young as Murray, Ron Kasdan as Speed, Brian Brown as Roy, Roberto Toscano as Vinne, and Marisa Lianggamphai and Rachel Clair Morris as the Pigeon sisters. Looking for laughs? The Odd Couple is where it’s at!


Crabtree is bitterly disappointed!

Archie James
I shall tell you a tale of greed and betrayal
That recently happened to me
And a chap, far from fervent, my military servant,
Till Nineteen Ninety-Three.

Yes, he was my batman, a lazy and fat man,
Whose piggy eyes swung on a swivel.
He was lewd, he was crude, could be terribly rude,
And his name was Herbert Snivel.

I remember quite well when I said my farewell
At the party to mark my retirement.
I was boozed, quite confused, not amused at the news
That I was a surplus requirement.

Next day when I woke – twelve o’clock on the stroke –
A grim Snivel was sponging my jacket
On which, to be blunt, I’d thrown up on front
Before hanging it up on its bracket.

I invented a scene where a drunken marine
Had been sick on me at the hotel.
“Well, the next time he shows” Snivel snarled “please disclose
That he’s c****ped in your trousers as well.”

This August I heard that this obnoxious bird
Whose future had always looked tottery

Against all moral rules had cleaned up on the pools –
The week after he’d won the damn lottery !
He lives on a yacht where – married he’s not –
A bevy of beauties attend him.
It’s not at all funny - apart from the money
He’s nothing at all to commend him.

Now, an ex-Captain’s pension, I hardly need mention,
Than peanuts is not a lot higher
So I wrote him a note where his boat was afloat
Off an island just west of Pattaya.

“Snivel, kindly impart a half million baht
To your Captain, farang to farang,
From the millions you’ve plundered. Or at least a few hundred
For a bottle of Singha or Chang.”

His answer was terse and couldn’t be worse -
Just two words from that pig at his trough.
The first was a term that would make Mabel squirm
And the second was quite simply “OFF !”

Now I am no prude but such ingratitude
From an old army colleague is shocking.
Without sounding snooty, it’s the lower ranks’ duty
To prop up their betters when rocking!


‘Decadence’ DJ’s in Chiang Mai

Supoj Thiamyoj
On September 4, world-class duo DJs “ZEN LEMONADE” (Super Cozi and Gus Till) introduced their electronic lounge musical performance ‘Decadence’ to Chiang Mai for the first time during an energetic and fun party at the Dusit D2 Hotel.

The world-class DJ Super Gozi is shown introducing her electronic lounge musical performance at the Dusit D2 Hotel in Chiang Mai.
Super Cozi, the Japanese-born founder of Hypo-Espresso Records, began her music career as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist with a Tokyo-based rock band. In 1997, she released her first album with sounds influenced by acid jazz, trip hop and break beats. Now based in Bali, her music is aptly described as Acid Techno, Electro and Progressive House all thrown into one hot miso soup pot. Today, her genre-bending style for dance and chill music has seen the release of more than 25 albums played in the world’s top dance clubs.
Touring with Super Cozi is her husband, Gus Till, an active musician, producer and DJ since the Punk days of the 70’s in Melbourne, Australia. Gus Till has performed his ambient and freestyle retrospective music to thousands of revellers at festivals in Greece, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, France, UK, Israel, USA, Zambia and Morocco, and worked with the likes of Bono, Edge, Todd Terry, Manu Dibango and Jamiroquai. In 2002, Gus Till headlined Bangkok’s New Year’s Eve party.


New entertainment complex to be launched early November

Nopniwat Krailerg
A major entertainment complex is due to open in Chiang Mai in early November, comprising a 350-seat Playhouse Theatre which will host twice-nightly performances, a 25-store souvenir and local craft market, a Performing Arts Centre for the education of local young talent, and a bar which will be open until 2 a.m.

David Shrubsole, the Manna House MD, stands in front of a promotional poster during the announcement for the new entertainment complex to be launched in Chiang Mai in early November.
The Playhouse Entertainment Complex, owned by Phuket company Manna House and modelled on their similar venue on the resort island, will open on November 3, with more than 10% of the complex already built and decorated on schedule.
David Shrubsole, Manna House’s MD, is promising world-class international performance arts with a combined European/Asian/Broadway flavour given by an experienced cast and crew. Local talent will be encouraged to audition for spots in the shows in order to introduce them to a larger audience in the hope that they will become famous. David also promises that the shows, which will run for 50 minutes at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. each night, will not have been seen elsewhere in Thailand.



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