BANGKOK — To Pakistanis who grew up considering jazz and orchestral sounds as much their culture as anyone’s, the religious and social upheaval threatening to take it away was an attack.
One group of talented musicians in Lahore went a step further by recreating the music they loved in traditional Punjabi instrumentation. Their exciting journey to bring it to the Big Apple with Wynton Marsalis is chronicled in “Song of Lahore,” a documentary being screened and discussed Wednesday at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was directed by Pakistani woman filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a two-time Academy Award winner, and shot by cinematographer Andy Schocken.
Before a gloomy backdrop of social strife, the musicians raise their voices through jazz and classical sounds from the Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan and the Punjab, where music is increasingly considered haram by fundamentalists.
Their melodious journey to revitalize their musical culture by taking it to the world peaked in 2014 when trumpet guru Marsalis invited them to perform with him at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Before the film will be a special change to hear renowned Thai-Muslim band Baby Arabia perform at 4pm. Panu Aree, the co-director of a documentary about the band will lead a discussion in Thai on music and politics in Pakistan and Thailand at 6pm.
Admission is 100 baht and seats are limited to only 200 people. Advanced tickets can be booked by depositing the ticket price to Thida Plitpholkarnpim, Kasikorn Thai Bank No. 799-2-21364-3 and sending proof of payment to [email protected] for ticket collection at the reception desk at 3pm on the day of the event.
The film will show in English with Thai subtitles at 4:15pm at the center’s fifth floor auditorium, which can be reached via BTS National Stadium skywalk.