“There has never been a time, no other era, where the ordinary villager has cursed the ruling class so much as now. There’s a fire burning down below and the military coup has only poured fuel onto that fire.” Teerapol Anmai speaks about the aftermath of the 2010 protests and the state’s violent response.
The molam we know today stems from a century-old Lao tradition that is being transformed by its mingling with central Thai forms and international styles. What do we know about that original tradition? Are there khaen-playing practitioners still performing today in Isaan? John Garzoli, an ethnomusicologist looking precisely at these issues, shares his views.
Fifteen years ago, a molam troupe made history by taking the molam sound of temple fairs and village festivals to the stage of Bangkok’s Impact Arena. We talked to former band member Thawit Sitthongsi about the troupe’s reputation as a leader in changing contemporary molam music and molam performances forever.