Jarun Manothep - The Music Lives On
Imagine walking into a wide-open glade surrounded by giant trees
casting cool shadows across the thick green grass.
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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 !”
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.