Last weekend, we visited an exhibition in Luang Prabang at TAEC. As we enjoyed it a lot and learned many things, we thought it would be a great idea to share that with you. And if you're far from Laos, you can listen to the recordings of traditional musicians here.
What is the TAEC ?
TAEC (Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center) in Luang Prabang, is a local social enterprise founded in 2006 that promotes ethnic cultural heritage and traditional skills related to the livelihoods of the people of Laos.
It has developed two main activities: a museum and fair trade directly linked to the handcrafters communities of Laos. TAEC's work includes outreach activities, craft workshops, readings, research and a non-profit foundation based in the United States. Over the past decade, the center has expanded to include a growing collection of ethnic minority artifacts, a small library, a family activity center and an outdoor patio for special events.
New exhibition about traditional musical instruments of Laos : Voices of the wind.
Marie-Pierre who is ethnomusicologist, has traveled through Laos for the past 2 years to design this exhibition. She tells us more about her work:
"The challenge for this exhibition was really to make it attractive for everyone, not just for music lovers. Many of the wind instruments in Laos are easy to create (a bamboo tube with holes to make it simple), but produce an impressive serie of sounds with subtle and very interesting tones. Our scenography is here to enhance these instruments and awaken the interest of the visitor.
I think that the subject of music allows us to talk about everything. From the life of the people who practice it (by the analysis of rituals and celebrations), through also the techniques of manufacture, the materials used, to the different techniques of playing. Starting with a musical instrument, one can to do anthropology, musicology, physics, botany, linguistics (see for instance the instruments that imitate the tones of spoken language). That's what interests me in musicology and what I tried to transcribe in this exhibition.
We also wanted visitors to see and hear the instruments and their musicians. That's why we propose almost 200 videos and photos on tablets. Except 5 videos shot by SevenOrients, all the others were made by the museum team during field trips in order to prepare this exhibition. It required two years of surveying ! "
TAEC has become a regional leader in cultural heritage management and community development. It is the only independent resource and learning center for foreigners and local citizens dedicated to the many diverse ethnic groups in the country.
If you come to Luang Prabang during your trip, we highly recommend you to visit the TAEC museum, you will learn a lot about the ethnic groups of Laos. And if you want to bring back beautiful memories back in your hometown, their two shops, located in the museum and on the main street of the peninsula, offer quality craftsmanship made within a fair-trade approach.
Pictures are under the copyright of TAEC