Narayan Tushar Kaudinya


Singsong


I started recording songs of the people I would meet in my travels in Cambodia. Through the sound filled in my ears I slowly started seeing. But two days later while listening to those songs in my room I learnt that all the songs that people sang were of the same singer, San Sisamuth.

San Sisamuth was known as the father of the golden voice of Cambodia. He was taken away by the Khmer Rouge regime and was never found again. His songs were banned for the next four years to come.

Khmer rouge was in power from 1975-79. The brutal regime claimed the lives of more than two million people. It tried to control and take Cambodia back to the Middle ages, forcing millions of people from the cities to work on communal farms in the country side. It is said that more than half of Cambodian natives died from execution, starvation, overwork and years of diseases that followed.

On my journey through the Cambodian countryside I observed the silences and the sounds that went through me while hearing his songs from people I met, simultaneously yearning to understand San Sisamuth and this country at large.

There were instances when tears came down from people’s eyes and some went cold and vulnerable due to the haunting memories that encapsulated them suddenly even for a little while.

My recorded songs and images are dedicated to this beautiful country and the man that blessed me to see through his voice, San Sisamuth.