From a time of colossal horror springs a work of immense compassion.
It has been almost four decades since the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge. Bangsokol is the first major symphonic work to address this legacy of pain and will premiere at Melbourne Festival before performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Philharmonie de Paris.
The 1970s saw an entire generation of Cambodian artists torn from the world, but in the years since a growing community has formed to bring new expression to a culture still devastated by unimaginable events. The tradition of the requiem is proof that some of the greatest and most uplifting works of art have been born of the darkest events, and Bangsokol joins their number as an extraordinary new work spanning song, film, dance and speech.
Acclaimed filmmaker Rithy Panh and renowned composer Him Sophy are both survivors of the years of massacre, and have gathered an international host of collaborators to produce a work that fuses the traditional bangsokol—a Buddhist rite bringing peace to the dead—with the Western requiem. The result is an unprecedented work that transforms tragedy into hope and carves out a new space in which to heal.
It is a ritual tribute to the more than two million Cambodians murdered, created by an unprecedented team of international collaborators including childhood survivors of the regime.
I will perform the timpani part in this event.
Content from Melbourne Festival Website.