The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant economic impact on creative entrepreneurs and creators. The Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization) or CEA, therefore, implemented "CEA VACCINE" to mitigate the urgent impact of the pandemic for a group of 373 creative artists in the fields of graphic, painting, photography, design, and music from March to August 2020. “Sound of the City”, one of the programs under the CEA VACCINE campaign, supported musicians to continue creating their work resulting in 100 songs that reflect the stories and identities of different cities across the country.
Sound of the City invited singers, songwriters, and musicians to produce music that reflects the identities of the city they live in or are inspired by without any restrictions on the style or technique. As a result, musical works were created from various perspectives and showcased online and performed live in the cities, pushing parts of the Thai music industry to move forward.
100 Sounds from 7 Areas across Thailand
Although the Bangkok Metropolitan Region is the smallest of the six areas across Thailand, the capital city is a melting pot that is filled with diversity as it is home to people from across the country. This allows the artists to create the sound of each district in a unique and colorful way.
The sound of the central business districts such as Ratchaprasong, Patpong, and Silom reflects the pulse of the urban people who move and push the city forward rapidly. Differently, the sound of Bangkajao, known as Bangkok’s lungs, makes you imagine the wood at the heart of the city. The sounds differ between the Sathorn Pier, which is in the middle of the city and full of foreigners, and the Nontaburi Pier, which is bustling with passengers and merchants on both sides of the street. The city of Nakhon Pathom gives you a Luk Krung genre sung in Luk Thung style by a couple.
Listen and read the details of the artists from Bangkok Metropolitan at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Bangkok
Sound of Charoenkrung was made as a special project as the area is where the CEA headquarters is situated and known as the model of a creative district in Bangkok. Surrounded by important historical sites, Charoenkrung is the country's leading art and creative center. Twenty-five artists shared the stories of places and landmarks, including Wongwian 22, the Grand Postal Building, Prince Theater, Sampeng, Xiang Gong in Talat Noi, Yaowarat, Songwat Road, Soi Nana, and many more, through songs that invite you to share the experience and instrumental music that makes you imagine the vibrant atmosphere of Charoenkrung worth seeing with your own eyes.
Listen and read the details of the artists from Charoenkrung at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Charoenkrung
Central Thailand is a rich river plain. As the old saying goes, there are fish in the river and rice in the paddy field. The artists choose to convey the sounds of different cities using traditional Thai music mixed with natural sounds such as water and wind to present the beauty and abundance of the city of Sukhothai and use the heavy rhythms of rock music to reflect the war era of the ancient capital of Ayutthaya.
For the famous Amphawa waterfront community, the artists combine Thai classical music with piano, adding a contemporary twist of synthesizer to show the changes of the area in a lively atmosphere. Imagine yourself shopping in a floating market.
Listen and read the details of the artists from the Central at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Central Region
Northern Thailand is a region with a distinctive cultural identity with so many tourist attractions. It has both the energetic vibe of an urban city and the peace and tranquility of the wilderness. The artists choose an important place like Doi Tung to represent a feeling of relaxation and appreciation of the beauty of flora through folk instruments such as the gourd flute and Phin Pia. The story of Lampang is told through traditional and western music, coupled with the sound of a horse carriage and a clock reminiscent of the 5-way intersection at the heart of the city.
But not all the melodies of the North are similar in style. Nimman is Chiang Mai's ever-bustling economic district. The artists, therefore, create a fun upbeat sound of reggae, ska, and rock and roll, with an underlying message that the locals want to communicate. Doi Suthep is expressed in the genre of garage rock that gives out a campus atmosphere full of youth energy.
Listen and read the details of the artists from the North at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Northern Region
Provinces along the Gulf of Thailand are unbeatable in tourism. The artists turn Pattaya, the famous coastal city, and Bang Saen, which has long been a popular tourist destination among the Thais, into a fun and exciting song in the genre of Nu Disco-funk/ EDM combined with a synthesized sound, allowing listeners to move with the music and feel the vibrant colors of these cities. The artists also take us to Chachoengsao using the bell sound to reflect the religious icon of the city, Luangpho Sothon Temple, with electronic music in a soothing rhythm to add a contemporary feel.
Listen and read the details of the artist from the East at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Eastern Region
Isan is a land so unique in its history, art, culture, way of life, and music and performances. The artists combine the flavor of traditional Northeastern dances: Serng Mor Lam and Northeastern instruments like Kan (a kind of reed mouth organ), Wot (circular panpipe), and Phin (harp), with modern music to create the sounds of different cities, including Roi Et, Khon Kaen, and Nakhon Ratchasima. The artists also talk about the Plateau, which is unique to the land of Isan through local instruments and folk music that represent the identity of a fighter of the people in this region. The Loeng Nok Tha district is an example where the artists use the music genre of Isan experimental to lively express the sound of the district. There are many more varieties of sounds representing different districts in which the artists use the Isan musical style and contemporary music that are unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Listen and read the details of the artists from the Northeast at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Northeastern Region
The Southern identity lies in the beautiful beaches on both the Andaman coast and the Gulf of Thailand, as well as local music with fun beats and local dialect that is very unique. The artists present Koh Samui in a fun funk-rock style, accompanied by the sound of waves crashing onto the coast, making listeners feel like they are at the beach. For Songkhla, known as the city of two seas that is so rich in beautiful nature and multiculturalism, the artists rap in a southern dialect to a perfect blend of electronic trap and local instruments that gives the feel of Manorah. In addition, the artists take us to Hua Hin with ambient music along with the sound of synthesizer that brings the image of the waves and trains in this resort town.
Listen and read the details of the artists from the South at YouTube Playlist: SOUND OF THE CITY - Southern Region
All songs are now available for streaming on platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, to reach a wider, more diverse audience.
Bangkok Music City – BMC 2020
The Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization) or CEA organized an exhibition at Bangkok Music City 2020 between 28 and 29 November 2020 at Glowfish Sathorn, Sathorn Thani Building 2, featuring eight artists from "Sound of the City" in musical performances.
In addition, a CEA executive spoke at the ENT-TECH Conference on the topic of “The Future of Thai Music Industry”. The speakers in the event are from three fields in the Thai music industry: Kawin Theppatiphat, Director of Creative Industry Development, CEA; Yuttana “Pa Ted” Boonaom, GMM GRAMMY; and Dr. Narong Prangcharoen, Dean of the College of Music, Mahidol University.
Cat Expo 7
The Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization) or CEA organized the "Sound of the City" exhibition at the annual Music Festival by Cat Radio at Wonder World Ramindra during 21-22 November 2020.
At this event, CEA distributed a playlist of 100 songs in a cassette tape format created by the artists in this project, with a QR code that takes you the music videos of the songs on YouTube.com. All the songs are now available for streaming on various platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, to reach a wider, more diverse audience.