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Concert held to launch parents merit album

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Performers at a concert to launch music production company Waterek’s new album of songs aimed at educating children.

Music production company Waterek hosted a concert to launch its third album Parents’ Merit which focuses on educational issues, sanitation and the health of children.

General manager of Waterek, Thorn Seima, said that the company decided to focus on these issues after they saw that many children in Cambodia are still unaware of the risks of catching diseases. For example, they do not cover their bodies in the rainy season, so they are at risk of being bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitoes, or they neglect to clean their hands before eating a meal. Their lives are so fragile. They can catch diseases at any time.    

“Children often come to our studio at Bakeng to see rabbits or goats that we raise. We see that those children don’t have much awareness about sanitation. They don’t clean their hands or their teeth. We care about their health, so we have issued this album to educate them,” Thorn Seima said. “Most songs are about love. We don’t really have songs about sanitation or health for our children … We’ve produced these educational songs so that children can sing them. I’m sure when they sing them, they will follow the message by cleaning their hands, brushing their teeth the same ways as the songs say.”

There are 12 songs in this third album. Waterek, which started in 2005, chose the title Parents’ Merit because ancestors, parents, old people and teachers are the best people to teach the next generation, Thorn Seima says, so her company dedicated this album to show respect to them.    

A concert which took place on Friday at Hun Sen Chambok Meas high school in Bakeng commune, about 20 kilometres from Phnom Penh, didn’t just include songs from the album. One song each from their previous albums, Love under Bamboo’s Shadow and Life Has to Be Meaningful!, were included as well as some traditional Kamtrem  music from Surin province, Thailand, traditional Prern music from Oddar Meanchey province and classical Yike theatre performed by the NGO, Cambodia Living Arts.  

Thorn Seima says that her production is different from other music production companies in Cambodia because they compose the melodies and lyrics by themselves. However, her company doesn’t make much profit  because some people copy their CDs and sell them at a cheaper price.    

“Actually, we don’t expect that we will make any money back from selling the CDs, but we have to produce songs or music on our own, not copy from others. This is the main purpose for our production company,” she says.

However, last week’s concert attracted about 4000 local people and many of them bought scarves with the logo of her company to wear at the performance.

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