Trent Walker – ស្មូត្រ – Smot – Funerary Singing

I’ve known Trent since about 2005, if I remember correctly, and since meeting him I’ve never stopped being impressed. He’s a truly dedicated student, a devoted disciple of his teacher, Prum Ut, who passed away last year.

Trent studied the traditional singing style of Smot (ស្មូត្រ) with Prum Ut in Kompong Speu province, through the auspices of Cambodia Living Arts; I was lucky enough to travel with CLA on a few tours and met Prum Ut and his fellow teachers and students.

Trent composed this song in the traditional ‘7-syllable’ (ពាក្យ​ប្រាំពីរ), for his Guru.  Watch it and try not to be touched.  I dare you.

I raise these hands up to you,
Teacher, guru, of this song,
This melody, sung so long
Ago, before the Bo tree.

In your kind home you taught me
To chant Pali reverently,
Treat books with care, so gently,
And to daily humbly pray

To the Three Jewels, our teachers
And all creatures, ’til the day
You and I must fade away,
Die and decay, chasing peace.

Here is the first video of the entire performance (9 videos total).

He has his own blog, which you should read, and which I’ve added to the blogroll below.

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