Friday, January 16, 2009

Cambodian Khloy

A friend of mine did a trip around South East Asia, and found this cute little flute in Cambodia. The Khloy, as how locals called it, is a recorder-type instrument. It is curious that the construction of flageolet is fundamentally the same with the European counterpart, with a block of wood inserted into the tube (as opposed to the leaf-ring construction found in Indonesia).

The bamboo itself is very small, with very thin wall. In fact the bore is the smallest among my collection. It has 7 finger holes, but the last one does not seem to give much effect to the pitch. The sound is very bright, but not as piercing as one would expect from such a small flute.

It is decorated with pyrography technique. The pyrography is quite coarse, to be honest, but it does gives the required aura for this traditional instrument. But the most interesting part of this piece is the casing it comes with, as you can see from the picture.

I don't know any Cambodian music, but the flute apparently gives certain kinds of music naturally. Although equiped with flageolet, it allows some flexibility to the emboucure, unlike the rigid European recorder. And it takes some experiments to produce its best sound. Here is the recording of the Khloy, without any prior knowledge of the music it was made for. Enjoy.


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