Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 17, 2005

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A Khene player wearing sarong and pakama at the Ubon Candle Festival

Mor lam is an ancient Lao song form of Laos and Isan (Northeastern Thailand). Mor lam means expert song or expert singer, referring to the music or artist respectively. Traditionally mor lam was extemporaneous singing accompanied by the khene, a free reed mouth organ, but the modern form is most often composed and uses electrified instruments. Musically it is characterised by quick tempi and rapid delivery. As well as the usual theme of unrequited love, mor lam reflects the difficulties of life in rural Isan and Laos, leavened with wry humour. In its heartland performances are an essential part of festivals and ceremonies, while the music has gained a profile outside its native regions thanks to the spread of migrant workers, for whom it remains an important cultural link with home. (more...)

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