“Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia,” a symphonic work by composer Him Sophy and the first major such piece to address the Khmer Rouge genocide in the country, recently was released on Entertain Impact label.
Sophy, himself a Khmer Rouge survivor, places the musical ritual of a Bangsokol – a traditional Khmer ceremony that accompanies Cambodian Buddhist funeral rites – within the form of a Western requiem.
“When I composed the requiem,” Sophy says, “I relived the feelings I had during the Khmer Rouge times. It was Hell on Earth. The requiem needs to be experienced around the world so that everyone understands that tragedy is a shared experience.”