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Korphai Ensemble

Korphai Ensemble

Korphai Music Director and the Founder: Anant Narkkong


Korphai, literally meaning “a bunch of bamboo”, is a group of modern Thai musicians who have worked together on their fusion musical journey since their high-school days in the 1980s. The group won a prestigious Thailand National Music Contest in 1983 and other excellent awards including best original music for the Thai film “the Overture” in 2004. Korphai has diverse musical characteristics. The group’s musical style widens from a traditional base into other cross-over areas such as folk-pop, popular, fusion jazz, Asian-mix, and experimental music. During the past 30 years, Korphai has released a number of albums and performed in numerous public concerts in Thailand and overseas in countries such as Austria, England, Scotland, USA, South Korea, Taiwan, France, China, India, Malaysia and Cambodia. In addition, Korphai gives lecture-demonstrations and workshops in Thai music for educational and cultural-appreciation purposes.


In this afternoon concert, Korphai highlights two songs from the Piphat tradition that illustrate the links of the teacher-student relationships between Kru Luang Prdithphairoh, Kru Boonyong Kethkong and Kru Bruce Gaston. It is the Korphai’s pleasure to salute the Fongnaam ensemble, our great spiritual mentor from the world of Thai music.


Piphat is a term for a type of musical ensemble comprising woodwinds including Oboe and Flute, and percussion instruments made of wood, metal and leather. Piphat ensembles vary depending on the combination of musical instruments and they may be different in size. Piphat is a shared heritage of people in Southeast Asia that has been evolved, exchanged and developed for a thousand years. In Thailand, Piphat is an important ensemble type that forms part of the national history. Piphat can be used in various events, ranging from merit-making and funeral, to fun-filled entertainment like Khon performance and dances, prachan contests, and other activities. There exist a large number of songs that are created both in traditional form and modern, creative ones. Piphat music has been passed down from generation to generation, mostly through memorization. To appreciate the aesthetic value of this musical genre, the audience must have deep knowledge of music patterns and music history. In addition, the musicians must have ability and experience, particular when it comes to improvising while performing. Piphat culture has a dominant space in temples, court, and communities. Basically, it is taught in family and old conservatories run by well-respected masters. Piphat musicians have blended the belief in the divine power of music deities into wai khru music which is part of the learning system.


Korphai Artists for 2023 PGVIM Symposium Concert:

  • Somnuek Sang-Aroon (Pinai/Oboe)

  • Thaweesak Akarawong (Ranat Ek / leading xylophone)

  • Thannaphat Mangkornsiri (Ranat Thoom / Bass xylophone)

  • Pokpong Khamprasert (Khongwong yai / Large gong circle)

  • Amorn Phuttahnu (Khong wong lek / small gong circle)

  • Kriangkrai Raweewat (Taphon / double-sided drum, Long Yao - footed drum)

  • Anant Narkkong (Klong Thad / a set of barrel drums, Chaab lek - small hand cymbals), Prasarn Wongwirotrak (Ching / small hand cymbals)

Special thanks to Luangpradithphairoh (Sorn Silpabanleng) Music Foundation for generous support, musical instruments, and rehearsal space.



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