Thursday, 10 December 2015

Myanmar Saing Waing (Drum Ensemble)

Myanmar Saing Waing (Drum Ensemble)
            Myanmar Saing or Drum Ensemble is very much popular among people.  They want to see it often at pagoda festivals and at special occasions like donation ceremony or others.
            That time people usually hire a good saing waing to entertain people or guests after a day's work of donation or at the inception of novitiation or ordination ceremonies. But, it is not compulsory to do it, but some affordable persons or donors prefer to hold it.
            As soon as the saing master displays his virtuosity, people gather around his saing waing, and listen raptly to his improvisation.
            People feel awestruck by his dexterity in handling 21 drums which are arranged in circle.
            Looking back into the history, people can learn that Myanmar Kings showed interest in this music. It can be seen very clearly in the Glass Palace Chronicles in this way:
            "In the year of 906, King Shwe Hti reached the town called Salin when he marched with his troops by land and by water, and camped at the jetty of it. Then, he heard the music issuing from the platform of the Shwe Tan Zar pagoda. His commanders told him that it was the songs of Pat Saing which was also the name of Saing Waing. Accordingly, he ordered them that the lives of the saing players spared."1
            As well, it cannot seperate Myanmar people from Myanmar saing waing because it stays with them for a long time in terms of seriousness and happiness.
            It is needed to mention one of the famous saing master Sein Beda who was well-known for his own techniques of playing drums. His father was also a famous Myanmar saing master who served under Myanmar king.

            There were some occasions in which Sein Beda performed his saing skills to the delight of King Thibaw, the last king of Koungbaung Dynasty. The first one was that when the king ascended a new residence at Ratanagiri and the other was that at the ear-boring ceremony of the royal princess.
            Because of his excellent calibre, the king Thibaw bestowed him the title of "Ne Myo Bala Kyaw Thu" and the right of display four gold-leafed staffs of honour on his drum circle."
            Later in one occasion, the saing attendant-cum-singer summoned his master to play the saing in this way:
            "Titled Ne-Myo-Bala-Kyaw-Thu by royal pleasure, thy musical genius, without exaggeration, is saluted by musicians throughout the land. Oh brother, music university personified, I, Sein Nyo Seint propose that you tap your drums with the dark sandal tips of your fingers." 2
            Such words are really elated and exhilarating when someone hears it. At the time, a music lover understands and feels excited that it is the time for saing master to show his virtuosity.
            Later, the small drums in the circle will tell how skillful the master is. At every touch, it sounds like the most brilliant and clearest piece of tune jumping out of it to the enjoyment of the audience.      
            Some songs tried to jerk the people's delight. It goes this way:
            "Behold, the person of Sein Beda, those who say he is dark skinned have their tongues in their cheeks. When he was born, the midwife got only a quarter kyat for her pains. In retaliation she immersed the infant in soot. Behold the result!"3
            Those words bring the hall down. But, the master never reduces his gusto, with unflinch composure he played continuously.
            His Mingala Byaw Nyunt is still popular for alms-giving occasions. In this time, he sang it himself. The texts of the Byaw really encroaching. It runs thus:
            Pandal in mid-town, communal alms-giving,
            Old, old monastery with balustrade in ruins;
            Since our novice lives there, abundant rains!
            As I walk east and gaze west over my shoulder,
            I see the Pagoda with its gold banner and streamers;
            That's where my darling is, the reverend novice.
            How lovely is the entrance leading to it_
            The Gold Enlightenment Monastery!4
            It needs to mention about tuning of the drums, i.e, pat-sa-poh. The drum master has to be really adept at doing it while the session of humour and slapstick were inserted by rear members of the saing. During the time, the saing master has to finish his tuning.
            In this practise, Sein Beda was renowned for his judgement of the amount of pat-sa which is boiled rice and wood-ash kneaded with water into a dough.
            Later, his pupils adopted the initial word "Sein" before their name, like Sein Hnget Yo, Kyaukpadaung Sein Maung Tint, Sein Mg Ko, Sein Hla Maung, Sein Kyaw Tint, etc.
            Anyway, sometimes "saing" is played by itself, but sometimes together with zat, or A-nyeint. No matter what it takes, saing shows its enchantment to the delight of people.
            As long as Myanmar lasts, Saing will survive. It is true.
            Nowadays we still find the emergence of Saing master like Myanmar Pyi Kaung Sein who have played the album named "The Proclamation And Myanmar "Saing" ". In that album, he has rearranged the famous songs like Asia Great Man Bo Aung San, The Public Father, Sheer Courage, etc. He has made rearrangements for those songs to be fit to play for Saing. One can say this is his new creation, and he has done very well to do that.

            Anyway, Myanmar Saing gives strength and pleasure to Myanmar people whose hearts can discern the subtle and profound kind of art, and they feel satisfied with their life with it.■

1. Tekkatho Maung Thu Hlaing, Myanmar Traditional Orchestra Instruments, p 12
2.  K, Burmese Culture, p 61
3. Ibid
4. Ibid, p 65

Thursday, 3 December 2015

My Book List

My Book List: 
3 children books, 2 non-fiction books,1 fiction book, 1 short story, 1 poetry book, and 1 essay  book.

A Poetry Book
A Short Story Collection
A Fiction
An Essay

Monday, 23 November 2015

Red Dragon: The Award-winning poem of 2015 Wales National Day

Red Dragon
Oh! The glorious spirits of heroes!
Awake! And convey and transmit
Your bravery into my heart.
As dauntless as the heart of the red dragon
I do want to be turned into.

The red words as the volume of strength
Stand on my heart grandly,
With no sign of flinch towards enemies,
Blazing with the glory of daring
Will I be adorned with the trophy.

As a Welsh,
I adore the truth, and worship gallantry,
As steadfast, alert, and penetrating
As the red dragon,

We have created our future
With the power of bravery.

Our dream has come true.

This is our victorious flag,
This is our state,
This is our victory,
This is our light.

The legend says that the red dragon
Defeated bravely the white dragon.

He is our leader.
He is our heart.
He is our torch light.
He is our blood.
He is our victorious flower.
He is our brave painting.
He is our resistance sword.

He is full of strength, and powerful
And set down the long lasting tradtion
more than a hundred years,
It will be existed in our hearts
for thousand years for freedom and the truth.

Oh! Convince it.
The victorious red dragon.
                                                            San Lin Tun 
                                                                (The first prize winner of poetry 
                                                                 for 2015 Wales National Day)

(It is the translation of the award-winning poem for 2015 Wales National Day.)

Friday, 13 November 2015

New Vision Rare Books And Art Centre

New Vision Rare Books And Art Centre

            Rain falls nearly every day these days so that life becomes a little bit lethargic and  boring. But, this is the event which can remove that dulless and boredome from everyone. Every book lovers and art enthusiasts will definitely love it. It is nothing but the 3rd Collection Show of Art and Book Exhibition which will go on at New Vision Rare Books and Art Centre which invites everyone who wants to taste and explore famous Myanmar artwork and old books. 

            Old book enthusiasts know the name of this book shop already because it has collected many books including Myanamar books as well as English books. It is sure the owner U Hla Min has painstakingly collected those books for his own reference as well as for the interest of general public.
            This exhibition is showcasing the great works of Myanmar artists including U Ba Kyi, U Tun Nyunt, U Khin Maung(Bank), U Chit Mye, U Myat Kyaw, U Kan Nyunt, U Nyan Shein, U Aung Chan, U M.Tin Aye, U San Shein, U Htun Kyi, U Law San, U Lu Tin, U Maung Maung Thein(Pathein), U Hla Thein Aung, U Than Kywe, U Tin Aung Htaik, U Mya Aung, U M. Mya Lwin, and U Thar Zan. They all are well-know Myanmar artists.

            New Vision rare books and art centre also display various books including Myanmar books as well as English ones. Among those English ones are History of The Shan State, The Upper Burma Gazetter, Epigraphia Birmanica, A Civil Servant In Burma by Sir Herbert Thirkell White, K.C.I.E, the Soul of A People by H.Fielding Hall, The Burma Law Reports 1949, Old Burma-Early Pagan Vol I/II, Journal of his Second Embassy to the Court of Ava in 1802 by Michael Symes, Heaven-Born in Burma by Maurice Maybury, and many others.
            Exploring this centre is worthwhile and it will enhance knowledge and interest in art and history for everyone. It is a good opportunity for book lovers, researchers, art enthusiasts and knowledge seekers who expect this kind of event in downtown Yangon.

            The exhibition  starts from 22. 7. 2015 and ends in 31.7. 2015. The exhibition time will be 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The owner of the centre says that the center will be still open after this exhibition, and anyone will have a chance to look at his collections.
            The exhibition is now going on at No, 234/236, 1st floor, Pansodan Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon, and  contact phone numbers are 01-242729, 0973113224, 09799663417.
            (photos and texts: San Lin Tun)