August 16th, 2015

Classical music in stamps – new issue released by Thailand Post

Tags: is glad to inform that Thailand Post has issued a stamp set on classical musical instruments. This set is dedicated to HRH PRINCESS Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's talent for playing Thai classical music. The stamps, which are also the Thailand Post's way of marking the Princess' 60th birthday, feature each of the four instruments with which she is associated: the sor duang (treble fiddle), the sor sam sai (three-stringed fiddle), the ja khae (three-stringed zither) and the ranad ek (alto xylophone).

What's more, thanks to augmented reality, not only can the public admire the visual beauty of the instruments, they can also listen and watch them being played in a short video featuring a new arrangement of the traditional Thai song "Lao Damnoen Sai" by downloading the StampAlive application to their smartphones.

The brief rendition of the song featuring the four traditional Thai musical instruments was recorded by ranad ek virtuoso Taweesak "Berng" Akarawong, who portrayed Khun-In in "Hom Rong the Musical" and Thai classical and contemporary fiddler Lerkiat Mahavinijchaimontri on the sor duang and sor sam sai.

"Thais are used to seeing images of the Princess playing the sor duang, sor sam sai and ranad ek but rarely the ja khae. The ranad ek is her favourite instrument and indeed she often plays it in recitals," says Sirichaicharn Fachamroon, PhD, president of the Bunditpatanasilpa Institute.

"The song is 'Thai Damnoen Doi', which was given its name by the Princess and was penned by her as a kind of verse to the original melody of 'Lao Damnoen Sai' after following His Majesty the King to his development projects in the countryside".
Recognised as a National Artist in traditional Thai music in 2014, Dr Sirichaicharn says the Princess studied the sor duang as a child under the instruction of National Artist Benjarong "Term" Thanakoset, who is now 97. While attending Chitralada School and Chulalongkorn University, the Princess became interested in the sor sam sai and studied it under Phawat Bunnag, under-secretary to the King. She learned the ja khae with National Artist Khunying Paitoon Kittiwan, who was also a skilled sor duang player, and the ranad ek with National Artist Charoenjai Sundharavadhin. Kamchai Thonglor was the Princess' first singing teacher.

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