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The Empires

31 August 2019

The Empires, a symphonic poem by Narongrit Dhamabutra, was written on a grant from Thailand Research Fund (TRF) for a project titled “Southeast Asian Musical Materials for Contemporary Composition: The Mainland Southeast Asia.” 

The 24-minute symphonic poem comprises five connected movements representing five prominent kingdoms of the mainland Southeast Asia: the Bagan of Myanmar, Dvaravati of Thailand, Lan Xang of Laos, Angkor of Cambodia, and Champa of Vietnam. Each movement aims to depict the great history and cultures of the kingdom through contemporary composition techniques by transforming a variety of traditional musical materials – instruments, ensembles, modes, melodies, and rhythms – into western orchestration.

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