My recent project Neo Geodesia has been dedicated to fusing electro acoustic, experimental electronic processes with traditional Khmer music, applying digital processing to traditional Khmer instruments and Smot chanting, to honour traditional musical forms and explore the far edge of sonic expression.
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Create a new Digital Diaspora with Music Connection
by Saphy Vong
My name is Saphy Vong, I’m a Cambodian sound/visual artist based in London. I’m mainly graphic designer making artwork for bands. I’m the founder of Chinabot, a platform, record label and collective focused on contemporary Asian music. I have been releasing experimental electronics music since 2008. I’ve released my EP ‘Absynthax’ on american record label Orange Milk records. I’ve managed to perform around the world, in Japan, Russia, Thailand, Finland.
My recent project Neo Geodesia has been dedicated to fusing electro acoustic, experimental electronic processes with traditional Khmer music, applying digital processing to traditional Khmer instruments and Smot chanting, to honour traditional musical forms and explore the far edge of sonic expression. So I’m going to talk about my work with several countries and my creative activities combining Cambodian traditional music with technology.
ART AND TECHNOLOGY
With the pandemic, Museums and venues had to shut down, so artists must innovate, experiment new ideas exhibitions or live gigsIt’s evolving and it’s more prepare for the future, Internet is the showroom, as a kid and teenager, I didn’t have internetThe digital presence is really important because of social distancing so we had virtual space this year in collaboration with 2 other collectives from London and Tokyo, Eastern Margins and Avyss Magazine. We had this 3d Shopping mall with exhibitions and live stream music so it was possible to hang out with other avatars.It’s so much easier to visit museums now online with TwitchI also did some online talk with Nusasonic about the future of record labels in South East AsiaIt was interesting to share knowledge between each other even if we are split in so many different countriesthis digital transformation is now in a better position to adapt to change in the long term.
The future of music will change a lot with technology, I used to play in rock bands before then I decided to play solo, computer and hardwares are really powerful now, you can produce, mix, master and quickly upload your tracks on many platforms. About my own music or my last album, I tried to make a modern version of traditional Cambodian funeral with sampling or midi files.Cambodia is changing quickly, traditions are still here and important but need to find a place in this modern world, especially when you can’t afford an orchestra for playing at your funeral. I think it’s important to transmit, preserve, perform and compose, we can now digitalise old archives of music. There is this Korean American artist called Lucy Liyou, she combines text-to-speech, sound collage, and Korean poetry, it’s really beautiful and so fresh and new.
About my record label Chinabot, I wanted to create a new digital diaspora connecting asian artists around the world. My goal is to highlight asian electronic musician. We want to collect and promote exciting Asian music. It’s a mix of Asian music, contemporary and traditional soundsI released music from Mongolia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, China and more. It’s also easier to organise collaboration between artists and share music files. We still release analog music on vinyl and cassettes but of course in digital as well.
Saphy Vong is a French Cambodian, London-based sound/visual artist, and founder of Chinabot, a platform and collective created to change the dialogue surrounding Asian music. Saphy Vong, who has been releasing experimental electronics since 2008. He was born in a refugee camp in Phanat Nikhom (Thailand) to Cambodian refugee parents who fled Pol Pot's regime and was raised in France. He released his EP ‘Absynthax’ via american record label Orange Milk records. He's a sound artist and conceptual collagist who performs around the world. His music is a confluence of ideas, synthesising multiple underrepresented histories, geographies, musical genres and cultural signifiers into compelling, colourful sonic material that packs contemporaneous dance floor weight.
His recent project Neo Geodesia has been dedicated to fusing electro acoustic, experimental electronic processes with traditional Khmer music, applying digital processing to traditional Khmer instruments and Smot chanting, to honour traditional musical forms and explore the far edge of sonic expression.
LAFIDKI has played at a number of international festivals: Donau Festival 2018 (Krems/Austria), VIA 2012 (Pittsburgh/USA), Nuit blanche - French Institute 2016 (Kyoto/Japan), Museum of Asian Arts (Paris/France) and represented Cambodia at Tallinn Music Week. He has shared stage with Hype Williams, KXP, Tzusing, James Ferraro, Nightmares on Wax, Molly Nilsson, Andy Stott, Varg, Tropic of Cancer, Laurel Halo, Amnesia Scanner, Faka and James Holden.
His music was played by BBC, NTS Radio, Dublab.