Archiving project

Imagine being able to see and hear the work of Cambodian Master Artists, no matter where you live in the world. That is what made happen with our Archiving Project.

We’ve documented and recorded 15 of the last surviving musicians and 315 songs of 4 endangered Cambodian musical forms: Classical Wedding Music, Smot (poetry chanting), Kantaoming (ancient funeral music) and Areak (animist possession ceremonies’ music) with help from Cambodian Buddhist scholar and archivist Trent Walker.

From April 2012 to January 2013, CLA's team travelled to the homes of these Master Artists to film them performing in their local communities, then invited them to Phnom Penh to record in a professional studio.

We produced 5 CDs from these sessions, which include in-depth interviews with the musicians and links to resources to learn more about their work.

We also produced 3 full-length documentaries about Smot, Classical Wedding Music and Kantaoming, which were broadcast on Cambodian TV channel CTN in 2013 and 2014.

We organized and hosted the exhibition Finding the lost art forms from August 27th to October 18th, 2013, to raise awareness about these endangered art forms. Click here to learn more >>

We hope that these archival-quality audio and audio-visual recordings will preserve these traditional musical forms for future generations.

Learn more and listen music at soundofcambodianmusic.com

This project was supported by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, U.S. Department of State.