The New York Times called aspects of this composition, "a mournful lullaby," in an earlier preview of its theatrical premiere at BAM
"I hope this music brings a strong message to this world on freedom, peacekeeping, and humanity." – Him Sophy, Composer
NEW YORK, May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Him Sophy, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge and composer of Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia — the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas of the Cambodian genocide of the late 1970s will release the full Bangsokol recording in the U.S. on Friday, May 20 in alliance with Entertain Impact, and host a special YouTube premiere to commemorate the release. This ceremony will preview the recording and offer a respite for bereavement to those processing the loss of loved ones — whether it be from the atrocities of genocide, the people of Ukraine, and the 6 million + claimed by Covid 19 — where traditional funeral rights were prohibited.
The piece places the musical ritual of a Bangsokol – a traditional Khmer ceremony that accompanies Cambodian Buddhist funeral rites – within the form of a Western requiem that culminates with a plea to recognize impermanence as the only path to peace. As an act of cultural renewal, Bangsokol speaks to the role of the arts as a means for healing and reconciliation and seeks to inspire a new generation of artistic expression.
Him Sophy worked in collaboration with librettist Trent Walker. Recorded at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY, the album features the Metropolis Ensemble, Cambodian Ensemble, and the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir, with Metropolis Ensemble Artistic Director Andrew Cyr conducting.
"This album stands as an extraordinary musical experience that brings cultures and people together while serving as a model for how art can be a powerful vehicle for reconciliation in post-conflict societies," says Paul Katz, CEO of Entertain Impact. "Our agency utilizes popular culture for social change. So, working with Him Sophy and Phloeun Prim of Cambodian Living Arts, the commissioning organization, to release an album of such importance feels particularly relevant in today’s world where conflict is rampant."
Read more about this project – EPK.
Join the CEREMONY – beginning May 20, 2022, @ 11:30 AM ET.
View the TRAILER.
Download the MUSIC.
SOURCE Him Sophy