for mixed choir (SATB), alto flute, cello, and percussion
(To see the score, click the title)
Pathya Vat was written based on my experience with and impressions of Cambodian traditional folk songs and Buddhist poems, “gāthā,” that I collected while traveling around Cambodia as an undergraduate. I had been selected as a member for the project “Exploration of Angkor Civilization” hosted by UNESCO in 2006. “Pathya Vat” refers to a “gāthā” composed in a very basic traditional Cambodian rhythm. It has the unique feature that the last vowel of the second line is the same as the last vowel of the third line. The pattern continues in the case of poems with more than two stanzas. In this piece, “Puth” and “Phott” of the first stanza, and “Sasda” and “Moha” of the second stanza adhere to this rule. I used two texts simultaneously, assigning the names of historical sites of Angkor Civilization to the two stanzas, eight lines in total.
It is a suite of 8 pieces, but it may also be considered a single piece of 8 movements. This piece has a double-text: a Cambodian poem of eight verses and the names of eight items of the cultural heritage of the Angkor civilization. Each work has a verse of the Cambodian poem and the name of an Angkor cultural site. The connection between each verse and each name has been established on the basis of a commonality not only of pronunciation, but of meaning.
1. Khnom Saum Bangkum (I humbly salute) / Phnom Kulen
2. Champuoh Preah Puth (The Lord Buddha)/ Bakong
3. Trung Kung Khpuoh Phott (who resides in the highest)/ Phnom Bakheng
4. Leu Trai Loka (in all the lives of tri-world) / Bayon
5. Neam Preah Kodamm (The name is Preah Kodamm) / Ta Phrom
6. Baram Sasda (The supreme)/ Banteay Srei
7. Chambang Leu Moha (who is greater)/ Prasat Kravan
8. Neak Prach Taing Lay (Than all the sages) / Angkor Wat