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The snaeng is made from the horn of a water buffalo. You can order one online.
The snaeng is made from the horn of a water buffalo. You can order one online. Charlotte Pert

Phnom Penh Picks: musical shopping

After the Cambodian premiere of Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary on the stars of country’s ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll era, you might be inspired to pick up an instrument. Whether it’s a guitar or a snaeng, we’ve got some suggestions of where to start.

Avaliable for $13.
Avaliable for $13. Charlotte Pert

MUSIC BIOGRAPHY

The life of Cambodian musician Arn Chorn Pond – from surviving the Khmer Rouge by entertaining soldiers with his flute-playing, to founding Cambodian Living Arts in an attempt to keep traditional Khmer arts alive – makes for an incredible story. The English-language novel based on that life, Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormock, was a National Book Award finalist last year and a Khmer version has just been released. You can purchase the book at CLA (cambodianlivingarts.org) or www.marioninstitute.org/store/. for $13.
Cambodian Living Arts, Sothearos Boulevard.

Electric guitar from Sticky Fingers.
Electric guitar from Sticky Fingers. Charlotte Pert

SNAENG

The snaeng ($70) is made from the horn of a water buffalo or cow. It’s played like a western alpine horn or trumpet by blowing through a hole in the small end of the horn. Variation of sounds can be achieved by partially covering the larger hole. According to musical instrument manufacturer Cambodian Arts, the snaeng is used to “call ancestral spirits, bless and aid successful jungle hunts and in ritualistic healing ceremonies”. Or you could just hang it on your wall.
Cambodian Arts (cambodianarts.co).

Pick up a Khloy, for $20.
Pick up a Khloy, for $20. Charlotte Pert

KHLOY

The Khloy ($20) is a traditional Cambodian flute made from heavy wood or bamboo that is said to be relatively easy to play with a beautiful full sound. The khloy aek is smaller with a higher pitch, while the khloy ou is larger and produces lower, deeper tones. Khloys are played for entertainment and leisure, and can be found in many types of traditional Cambodian music ensembles. Khloys are inexpensive, small and easy to transport, and popular with people of all ages.
Cambodian Arts (cambodianarts.co).

Khmer CD.  PHOTO SUPPLIED
Khmer CD. PHOTO SUPPLIED

TRADITIONAL KHMER SONGS

For a good introduction to traditional Khmer songs, you could do worse than to purchase the album of Cambodian singer Ieng Sithul and rising star Ouch Savy, Sarikakeo ($12). The CD features 12 Cambodian love songs and other favourites. For Cambodian folk songs check out Khmer Passages, which features some of the greatest remaining masters of traditional Khmer instruments.
You can buy the CDs either at Cambodian Living Arts (cambodianlivingarts.org), the Plae Pakaa theatre at the National Museum, Monument Books or from www.marioninstitute.org/store/.

Retro posters from the Russian Market.
Retro posters from the Russian Market. Charlotte Pert

PIANO SHOP

If you’re looking to make a real investment, Phnom Penh’s piano shop opened its new location on Street 178 recently. Find pianos ranging from $2,999 (Yamaha U1) to $25,999 (Yamaha Grand Piano), and digital pianos ranging from $1,999 for a Roland F-120 to $5,250 for an Aura LX-802. The Piano Shop also offers keyboards: a Roland RD-300NX ($2,399) and a Roland RD-700NX ($3,799).
The Piano Shop, #13 Street 178

Yamaha Grand Piano.  PHOTO SUPPLIED
Yamaha Grand Piano. PHOTO SUPPLIED

STICKY FINGERS PRINTS

Lots of band posters sold at Sticky Fingers. Prices range from $70 for the smallest to $190 for the largest. They also sell prints without the frame for $50.
Sticky Fingers – Art Prints, Shop #29, Golden Sorya Mall.

ELECTRIC GUITAR

Sticky Fingers has this electric Spectrum guitar model on sale as well as traditional Khmer instruments.
Sticky Fingers – Art Prints, Shop #29, Golden Sorya Mall.

Retro prints from Sticky Fingers.
Retro prints from Sticky Fingers. Charlotte Pert

RETRO POPSTAR POSTERS

A little 1960s-inspired shop inside the Russian Market is a hidden gem. Film and music posters, CDs, T-shirts and more are on offer, all channelling the ‘60s Cambodia era. Posters of record covers range from $10 to $15.
Russian Market, near the food stalls, close to the antiques, shop number 807.

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