Him Sophy is an internationally acclaimed Cambodian composer, who has dedicated himself to helping heal the trauma of violence in his country through music. Commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts, Him Sophy has written a moving piece to honour those who lost their lives during the civil war and under the Khmer Rouge regime. Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, combines the musical ritual of a Bangsokol – a traditional Khmer ceremony that accompanies Cambodian Buddhist funeral rites – with a Western requiem, culminating with a plea to recognize impermanence as the only path to peace. You can listen to the album trailer here, and save the album here.
Him Sophy speaks with AOAV about the impact of explosive violence and armed violence on a society, and the importance of accountability, justice, and the international community in empowering survivors to heal.