The Phnom Penh Dump, Recording with Cambodian Musicians, A Screening of Rwanda 15, and the Our Village Concert

Nov. 28, 2011

Sarath and Jeremy at the Phom Penh Riverside

This evening was a wonderful time at the Phnom Penh riverside with Sarath the chapey player. We reached both tourists and locals who were surprised that saxophone and chapey were compatible, some of them speaking to us at length. Here’s a short video excerpt:

Nov. 29, 2011

Today, I went to the countryside where Arn Chorn-Pond lives to rehearse for the Our Village Concert which is on Saturday. We ended up having to plug-in using a generator, because the electricity was out. That’s life in some parts of the world. It was great to get the music happening, though. While Arn is very widely known as The Flute Player, these days he’s singing more, and we also have a female vocalist named Seyma. One of the child performers also rehearsed a song with us. Our music is a fusion of Cambodian and Western influences. I hope to get some samples up soon.

Rehearsing for the Our Village Concert

Nov. 30th, 2011

I woke up very early to visit the Phnom Penh dump today. I knew my interpreter Ny was good (and that he thinks like I do) when he suggested we go there. As expected, it’s not such a pretty scene, but the people appreciated the music Sarath and I made.

Performing for workers at the Phnom Penh dump

There’s also a school at the dump. I think the sign for the school explains exactly who the students are:

The school for child garbage workers

Sarath led the young students in a sing-along, and while I don’t know what they were singing about, I did contribute a little saxophone.

"vulnerable garbage worker children"

In the afternoon, I made the trip back to the countryside, with Sarath and my interpreter Ny, to record at Arn Chorn-Pond’s studio. It went wonderfully. Seyma, who will be singing in the Our Village Concert also contributed some vocals, and the recording quality was much better than what we achieved with my handheld digital recorder. I’ll get back to you all with more news about how I want to pursue my budding collaborations with Cambodian musicians. For now, enjoy some of the songs we just recorded. We’ve got three songs up on my soundcloud page: SatMohory, Neangbok Sreuv, and RomleukonKro,

Finally in the evening, a youth empowerment organization, called Empowering Youth in Cambodia, arranged a performance in a poor neighborhood. There were some young children with very interesting dance moves. It was nice!

Live at Bouding, Phnom Penh

Dec. 2, 2011

This evening the first Parade of One film, Rwanda 15, screened at MetaHouse in Phnom Penh. Shot by Rwandan filmmaker Kivu Ruhorahoza, this short documentary captures a few slices of Parade of One’s beginnings in Rwanda back in 2009. It has been screened on three continents, at the Zanzibar International Film Fest, the Vision Fest (New York,) and now Metahouse (Cambodia.) The reception at Metahouse was fantastic; the audience was very interested. Afterwards, I performed briefly with Sarath on chapey, and Arn Chorn Pond spoke about the upcoming Our Village Concert.

Here’s the trailer for Rwanda 15, in case you haven’t already seen it:

Dec. 3rd, 2011

The Our Village Concert was tonight, and it was a huge success! There were an estimated three thousand (or more) villagers in attendance, who had never seen anything like it.

Thousands of captivated villagers at the first Our Village Concert in Cambodia

The show included several musical acts, including the Waterek production band, which I played with, a fashion show, an ancient Cambodian opera performed by children from Cambodian Living Arts. comedians, amusement park rides, and more.

Children from Cambodian Living Arts performing an ancient opera

The large attendance and enthusiastic reception exceeded our expectations. On behalf of the Parade of One organization, I am proud to have financially sponsored and performed in the Our Village Concert. This was considered to be an experiment, and it definitely succeeded. I am sure that there will be more Our Village Concerts in the future. Many thanks to all the supporters of Parade of One and the other sponsors for making it possible.

Jeremy Danneman representing Parade of One at the Our Village Concert

Parade of One is made possible through donations from individuals like you. Please make your tax-deductible contribution by visiting the Parade of One website. Thanks so much! (As of this publication, we are still offering holiday gifts for donors, but only while supplies last!)