Angkor Wat is set to be the venue of a special concert in the spirit of wa – the Japanese word for harmony – tonight featuring traditional music from across Southeast Asia and Japan.
The event – with capacity for up to 640 – is being held to coincide with the 2013 Intergovernmental Conference for the Safeguarding of Angkor, held once every 10 years.
Sponsored by the Japanese embassy, it will be the first stop of the One Asia Joint Concert tour which will also visit Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Performers include the AUN J Classic Orchestra from Japan, traditional Thai drum and xylophone group Boy Thai, two ethnic percussionists from Indonesia’s KABUMI UPI and Vietnamese traditional musicians Ngo Tra My and Nguyen Thanh Thuy.
Representing Cambodia will be Yun Khean, Chek Samnang, Sour Vanna and Huot Huon – who usually perform at the National Museum in Phnom Penh on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Yoshi Abe, the second secretary of the Japanese embassy’s culture and information department, said the One Asia Joint Concert concert would also commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan and 40 years of co-operation between ASEAN and Japan.
“This is the special occasion to exchange the Japanese traditional music and culture with [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries,” said Abe “They all will bring their traditional music to the stage and everybody will see how wonderful it is.”
The AUN J Classic Orchestra was founded by twin brothers Ryohei and Kohei Inoue – who on their own form the Japanese drum duo AUN – bringing together young musicians active in the Japanese traditional music scene.
“AUN J Classic Orchestra consists of players of six folklore instruments that are representative of Japanese traditional music,” said Ryohei Inoue. “I think all traditional music instruments have one thing in common: they are the voices of the heart of the people.”
He said that with the motto of “one Asia” the musicians from five countries were travelling to different countries of Asia and overcoming differences of languages, cultures and religions.
“Music has no boundaries, but our music has nationalities. Our wish is to deliver the message of wa through this music.”
One Asia Joint Concert executive committee chairman Susumu Hattori said the sound of each traditional instrument had been shaped by its country’s history which made it “precious and unique”.
“Those different sounds come together on this memorable occasion,” Hattori said. “Please close your eyes, think of history and imagine the future. Let your mind be carried away through the passage of time.”
The concert is to begin at 6.30pm at a special outdoor stage at Angkor Wat’s east gate.