Rebuilding of the ancient instruments

Project timeline

Since 2009, we have been in the process of restoring ancient musical instruments from Cambodia. Our project was progressive:

  • 1998 - 2021 …
    • Scientific study based on iconography, epigraphy, ethnomusicology and archaeological objects
    • Conferences, exhibitions, publications.
  • 2012 - 2021 …
    • Experimental reconstructions from research data
    • Functional tests by the Sounds of Angkor troupe
    • Technical assessment and adjustments.
  • 2016 - 2021 …
    • Proposals for aesthetic arrangements of instruments.

Impact on the music instruments making

This project has already enabled several Cambodian artisans to develop new skills around traditional materials: wood, horn, bone, leather, rattan, various plant fibers, natural and acrylic lacquer, gold leaf, cast and hammered bronze…

Our artisans, Cambodian and French, are located in various provinces of Cambodia: Ratanakiri, Phnom Penh, Kandal, Siem Reap. Since the start of the project, we have asked about fifteen workshops and individual craftsmen.

Impact on Cambodian music

This project has had a visible impact on the musical landscape of Cambodia with the Angkorian harp on the front line. It is now present on national and international stages, on television and in painting representations. The martial horns have also inspired ritual and scenic uses.

Development of a Franco-Khmer Pole of Excellence

Thanks to the perseverance of everyone, the latest instrumental productions augur well for good prospects. This is why we decided to create a Pole of Excellence combining the know-how of Cambodian and French artisans living in Cambodia. The workshops under French management already ensure the transfer of know-how to Cambodian craftsmen, in particular in the field of lacquer and gold leaf. The objective is both to produce professional instruments combining acoustic and aesthetic qualities, while allowing artisans from various disciplines to perfect their skills.

To know more …