no. 30/50 - Pantra Sein Hla Myaing
Myanmars cultural heritage is enormously rich, especially the so called Hsaing Waing music, which is based on a circle of 21 tuned drums assembled in a wooden circle. The equivalent of the violin as the leading melody instruments in western music are drums in burmese music .
Hsaing Waing is Myanmars folk music, but also it's classical music, it's spiritual music, it's demon music and so on
- or we should rather say, that -
Burmese traditional music is probably the most versatile folk music you will find in the world today.
The incredibly gifted musicians and dancers incorporate any influence they come across and they fluently combine the music with elements of theatre, parody or sports.
Sein Hla Myaing is one of the most acclaimed Pat Waing players in Myanmar today.
He is not only a master musician, but also an entrepreneur who runs his own 10 piece band and owns all the necessary instruments and golden fences, his orchestra needs (something like 1500 kg including the cases) and has them stored in his "not really big" house on the outskirts of Yangon, basically sleeping on top of those cases, if not touring.
Surprisingly he is one of the few masters, that have not lived in their personal masters house from the age of 12, starting to learn the music by cleaning the instruments, cooking and cleaning their masters house, but has attended the school of Burmese fine arts in Yangon - an incredible place, with something like 30 pupils being taught by their masters, practising and giving short recitals all simultaneously in the same room.
Remembering his orchestras performance some years ago at the moers festival it comes to the author's mind, how hard hitting the band and how strong the cultural shock for the audience was. Just the real real thing, nothing adapted for European tastes, basically no explanation but another complete world spreading out in the middle of the festival Hall.
Myanmar traditional music is unique on this planet - they have so much to give to the rest of the world.
And as almost anybody in Myanmar is an artist -
SUPPORT MYANMAR ARTISTS