Pioneering Pianists of Southeast Asia: “Light of my Homeland”
Organized by Steinway Gallery Singapore and Global Cultural Alliance, Nat was invited to feature in this series of pioneering pianists of Southeast Asia at Victoria Concert Hall, Singapore on June 4th, 2019. He was recognized as a pioneering composer, pianist, and educator of Thailand.
In this concert, the organizers carefully chose the programme themselves featuring ONLY Nat’s compositions and arrangements. The concert really showed his talent in composing original music based on Thai musical elements and unique sound as well as his capacity as a performer.
The programme started with his first composition, “Crystal Pheasant”. It was the first time for Nat to write a signature Thai piano piece. He played with pentatonic scales and whole tone scales along with major and minor scales bridging the cores of Thai and Western musical structure.
Soon after, we would see how Nat moves into more serious contemporary classical piano compositions. The programme presented the last movement of his first sonata, “Glory to Our Great Kings”. It is the first and only Thai piano sonata that is inspired by the music composed by Thai kings of Chakri dynasty. This means that the composition also weaves through various musical tastes through times of different monarchs in Thai history. We can hear influent of Thai traditional music as well as the jazzy influence of H.M. the late King Rama IX.
Later on, Nat’s interest moved towards folk elements of Thai music. This concert presented this through his “Southern Region” movement of his “Siam Sonata”. It showed a glimpse of Nat’s sonata that takes his audience on a tour around Thailand through music and dance. Yes, dance too! Though we only presented one region (or movement) of this Sonata, the audience could experience the sound from the South of Thailand, their folk songs, costumes, and dances thanks to Nat’s music and dancers from CCI (Christian Communication Institute, Payap University).
In the last part of the programme, his latest composition, “The Prodigal Son” suite, was presented for the first time to the public. It was the first time for anyone to see such performance. Nat’s newest inspiration comes from Thai folk drama or “Likay”. It is one of the most popular kind of theatre appreciated by the people. It includes music, dance, and drama. This means that this music comes with a story and visual interpretations by CCI dancers. To push this new fusion of art forms further, Nat also incorporates percussion. The part is written and performed by Łukasz Kurzydło, a young prominent Polish percussionist.
This part of the programme really took everyone by surprised. While his other compositions were already accompanied by CCI dancers, this one lets them tell a story through their movements with extra sound effects and Thai percussive elements through Łukasz’s playing. No one in the audience has ever seen such performance.
The rest of the programme also included some of Nat’s arrangements of famous Thai songs from H.M. the late King Rama IX as well as M.L. Puangroi Abhaiwongse and General Prem Tinsulanonda. Lastly, Nat and his wife, Sugar, surprised the audience with their song, “Longing for you” (คิดถึงเธอ), his famous pop song that he wrote when he was just 19 years old.
The audience at the Victoria Concert Hall was great. Most of them came to greet all the performers after the concert and spoke with them at length of how amazed they were with the performance. It had such a variety of things to see, to listen to, and to experience. They couldn’t imagine such a show.
A video of highlights of this concert will be posted online soon!
Stay tuned for more updates!