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SE Asia Recordings

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Screech

When I first arrived in Phuket in December 2007, every evening was filled with this sound. For weeks we thought it was the nearby electrical transformer, but it turned out to be cicada like bugs. I remember going on a short hike up the hill near our house, and standing next to a tree that had a few of these bugs in it. At such close range, the noise was deafening!

Flies

We stopped for a pee break while motorcycling around Thailand’s golden triangle, and the nearby ditch was filled with large flies. I didn’t see any carcasses, but they insisted on staying in the ditch even if I disturbed them.

Bells

Bells

Recorded at Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai.

Gong

GongNipple Recorded at Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai.

Chant

Recorded at a temple somewhere outside of Chiang Mai. I had ridden my newly purchased bicycle to a forest wat to hear an afternoon monk chat. After the talk, I walked around the wat and found these monks chanting in a small enclosure.

Church

I went on a hill tribe trek and was taken to a garlic growing village just outside of Pai. While everyone in our group learned how to tie garlic, I wandered and found a Christian church containing a sparse group of singers.

Cows

Cows

These Pai cows were very skiddish, and it didn’t help that I was hiking with 3 other boys. I told them all to keep away while I tried to sneak up on them to record this.

Cold Drink

At Angkot Wat, all of the temples are surrounded by droves of women and children selling a variety of things. The most common commodity is the generic ‘cold drink’. I must have looked particularly thirsty. There were about ten of them surrounding me when I recorded this.

Chinese Opera

Bangkok Chinese Opera

Some CouchSurfers and I were searching Bangkok for a restaurant we had heard of, and came across a sweaty Chinese temple that was packed with people watching a Chinese opera. We came back the next day, and had an enthusiastic regular translate most of the story for us.

Ice Cream

I heard this song almost every single day in Pai. Ice cream man?

Gamelan

Dark Bonang

This was the most beautiful Gamelan performance I have ever seen. While on Java, I got in touch with an American woman close to the Javanese Gamelan scene. I met up with her in Solo (aka Surakarta), and she took me to see this performance. It wasn’t really quite a ‘performance’ as there wasn’t a real audience. My American hostess described it as a Gamelan version of one of Miles Davis’ jam sessions just for pros. I’ve got a pretty good video excerpt of this concert, and I’ll post it as its own entry later.

Update: Video posted here.