For the past six weeks we’ve run a special series, “The Soul of Molam.” We brought you features, photo essays, interviews, and videos about the rich culture of molam and the people who live and breathe it. In this final part, we give space to our readers and some of the people we interviewed to take a look at what the series did well and what it missed out on.
Dr. Yutthana Pongsom, a physician who is familiar with emerging infectious diseases, looks at the timeline for the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.
What does the future hold for molam music? Five molam artists share their views on the state of the genre. We talked to Nattapon Siangsukon from Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, Boonchuang Denduang, Dao Bandon, Ratri Sriwilai and Phichai Phorahomphui.
The Isaan Record04/29/2020
When Chris Beale bought a curious old vinyl record at his local record store in San Francisco ten years ago, he had no idea it would lead him to photograph Isaan’s most famed molam artists. The American photographer, who recently showed his work in Khon Kaen, talks about his current project to document molam culture in Isaan and Laos.
The Isaan Record04/26/2020
Homeless people in Khon Kaen city are one of the most vulnerable groups among the urban poor. How are these people dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and what measures are the government taking to protect the most vulnerable members of society?
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.
The Isaan Record04/24/2020
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.
The Isaan Record04/19/2020
Among widespread fear of COVID-19, transgender people often become victims of two-fold discrimination, intolerance and social exclusion. Here’s the experience of a young transgender person from rural Isaan.
The Isaan Record04/18/2020
The exodus of Isaan people fleeing the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangkok was, in part, a result of government incompetence. It is not justified that they are now bearing the stigma of “super spreaders.” It also begs the question: “Why don’t these people take jobs in their home provinces?” asks Pattawee Chotanont.