During the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming businesses and online platforms enjoyed explosive growth, especially for the entertainment industry. In Thailand, however, one particular traditional music business — molam — plunged into dire circumstances. Yet to be afforded legitimacy, molam artists receive little to no support from the government. Today, they hang onto a dimming hope that they will return to the stage as their art form gradually dies.
Ethnomusicologist John Garzoli talks about the ways that molam and the khaen have evolved in the past few decades and his hopes for the future of the genre.