Music at 5:30 am and more music till 9:00 am.  

Its as if this village never sleeps. It’s as if  nightlife in this rural village holds a certain level of significance. There isn’t much around.  The next property over from our commune is about 20-30 metres away and then it’s all rice field and lake for a while until you meet the next property.  

The way they listen to their music is intriguing.  They just blast it so loud so the whole village can hear.  The bass rocks the floor and you get these hypnotic tunes that put you in a trance.  A lot of them are traditional Cambodian melodies.

Their funeral music is extremely peculiar to me.  I can’t really explain it. Its evokes so much emotion.  It gives you a sense of the blues, and I said that before I knew what these pieces of music represented.  Provocative in nature, the darkness of them can send you on a downward spiral of sadness and grief.

Throughout my time in siem reap, I would always hear these types of tunes.  There was always a type of religious chanting going on, whether they were from the monks in the Buddhist temples, or the Cambodian Imams from the mosques.  Now that I have come to the village, I would like to know more about what music means to the Cambodian villager. If nightlife is an important part of life here and there is music constantly pumping, then what does that say about the people who lives in an environment like this?  

Out here, there tends to be a lack of stimulation, simple because there isn’t much going on.  Everything is so still, because it’s just land and long, hot days. I wonder what that does to the mind, body and soul?

Whether you live in a major city in a first world country or in a rural village in Cambodia, everyone needs something to ground them – an escape from reality, or a unity with reality on a different level, rather.  Music can alter your state of mind and it can manipulate your experience, internally. With a lifestyle like this, the Cambodian villager needs some sort of stimulation. Life is slow and lazy. Music is their stimulation when they are in need of some grounding.  Grounding to them comes in the form of action, hype and energy. For those living in major cities, their grounding can come in the forms of meditation. Meditation is another way in which we can alter the state of our minds.

When life runs at a slower pace, you need short hits of stimulation in order to keep you grounded.  So what do you do? – you pump your music at full blast and you get lost in the sounds.

What do you do when your body and mind requires some grounding?

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