PCEC welcomes back Tasana Nagavajara

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Rhapsodic playing from the maestro.
Rhapsodic playing from the maestro.

PCEC members gathered to welcome back Tasana Nagavajara who had visited the club one year ago. As then, he was in Pattaya to arrange a performance for some of the students from his Promusica group.

Tasana loved the violin from an early age and learned to play. He was awarded a scholarship in 1989 to study in Europe. After he returned to Thailand, and as a teacher of music, 15 years ago he formed a small group with a desire to make classical music less “highbrow” and hence more enjoyable to the general public. Most pieces are shorter, venues may be unusual and programs creative and imaginative.

In Sunday’s program Tasana presented groundbreaking music from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony to Bohemian Rhapsody.

On his violin, he played music originally designed to be played on several instruments. He showed us his notes, indicating how complicated the adaptation was, with much time involved. A bit of a “crazy idea”, he told Ren in the interview after.

It was considered an important landmark in the tradition between the classical period and the romantic era. There is interest in this now as a result of the popularity of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody featured in the Oscar Awards. Bohemian Rhapsody was written by Freddie Mercury for Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. This six-minute suite consists of several sections (and unusually has no chorus): an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. It was Queen’s most popular song and one of the greatest rock songs.

When Tasana plays music written in the 18- or 1900s, he likes to look at what was behind the music and how it was written, what the musician thought and felt, and at the society of that time. He shared some of this in his presentation at the PCEC, including some myths regarding Beethoven and Mozart as well as information about Queen and Freddy Mercury.

He also showed some extracts of documents to show what an influence the music and musicians have had on him over the years.

In his efforts to influence music in Thailand, he is in Pattaya this week preparing for a concert at Tiffany’s Theater. The group is primarily students (65) from his summer school, with the youngest 11 years of age. This school promotes sharing of music, bridging the divide between music and classical music.

Tasana was presented with the Club’s Certificate of Appreciation, with Ren describing the performance as staggeringly beautiful.

All smiles at the award ceremony.
All smiles at the award ceremony.

Following the main topic, PCEC was shown the sustainable straw solution. Jackie introduced the company, Bamboo Sisters, who market reusable straws made by local people from bamboo. The company uses materials already growing and employs available people who are in need of work.

With the increased concern about sustainability and excess use of plastics, these are a great find and so a number of members took advantage of the opportunity to buy some at the meeting. The straws come in two sizes and are available online at Facebook: Bamboo Sisters or at their website: www.BambooSisters.com.

Inspiring. Be the change we want to see in the World. Bamboo Straws from Bamboo Sisters.