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.
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 Record26/04/2020
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 Record24/04/2020
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 Record19/04/2020
Molam music has a spellbinding power. For generations, it has shaped the cultural soul of the Lao-speaking people on both banks of the Mekong River and their communities around the world. Often declared a dying breed, it continues to reinvent itself in new modern forms while serving as a source of cultural agency for the young generation.
The Isaan Record20/03/2020
The Soul of Molam (15) – Masters of the khaen and the future of disappearing molam traditions (full interview) John Garzoli is one of those rare Westerners who’s immersed himself deeply in the music traditions of Isaan. An Australian with a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, he has brought his sensibilities as an accomplished musician into his […]
The Isaan Record19/03/2020
Coming out of sleepy Sakon Nakhon, Junlaholaan is a genre-bending band that seems to be striking a chord with a rapidly growing number of listeners in Isaan and beyond.
The Isaan Record12/10/2019
From the prime minister’s warning to molam listeners to UNESCO’s praise of khaen music.