Sounds of the cinema

People remember the movie Ban Sai Thong as much as they do its theme song. "This is the Golden Sand Mansion, where I'm headed... I don't know if they'll welcome me..." Those two verses never fail to evoke the image of a girl with pigtails, Pojaman, one of the most beloved characters in Thai movies, who'll grow up to face the tumult and melodrama of life to the cheers of viewers.

Likewise the song Kwan Khong Riam, a soundtrack from the classic film Plae Kao (The Scar), remains a powerful evocation of the bucolic, tragic romance of a young couple. The movie is immortal but without the song, the experience would be somewhat wanting.

Usually working with visual, Thai Film Archive (Public Organisation) recognises the joy of sound in a concert "Nang Thai Nai Siang Pleng", or songs in Thai cinema, next Thursday at Thailand Cultural Centre.

A glittering roll call of singers, young and veteran, will take turn singing 30 songs taken from classic films to contemporary hits spanning several decades.

Some of the headline acts include seasoned crooners Sawalee Pakapan, Suthep Wongkamhaeng, Surachai Sombatjaroen, Srisalai Suchartwut, Suda Chuenban, The Impossibles, Chatree Band; meanwhile rockers and hipster-inspiring stars also join the line-up, including Tul Apartmentkhunpa, Yokee Playboy, Zani AF6, and more. Among the highlights will be the song Chua Fah Din Salai, or "eternity", from the 1955 movie of the same name. The story about a forbidden love has been remade several times _ the latest being in 2010 _ and its theme song has become iconic.

Besides functioning as a companion to the narrative, many movie soundtracks also enhance the personality of the characters and distinguish the specific cultural environment. A case in point is Khao Nok Na _ "rice outside the paddy field" _ which narrates the story of a girl born of a G.I. father and a Thai mother during the Vietnam War. Pleng Sood Tai, or "the last song", is another everlasting classic from the movie of the same name in 1985, which tells the story of a transsexual showgirl facing the tragic conclusion of her sorry life. Both songs will be featured in the concert.

"Songs From Thai Cinema" will be staged at Thailand Cultural Centre next Thursday at 7pm. Tickets cost 500, 800, 1,000, 2,000 and 2,500 baht and are available at Call 02-482-2013/4 ext 111 for more information.