The Community Music Programme is a fledgling project designed to help preserve and promote the musical traditions of the hilltribe peoples. From the spirit festival songs of the Lahu to the Akha children’s songs, there is a broad seam of beautiful and diverse music hidden in the hills of northern Thailand. The various hilltribe cultures are each rich in their own individual musical traditions, and music forms an important part of their everyday lives. Traditional hilltribe instruments are still used, but Thai and western instruments such as the guitar have recently been incorporated to produce a distinctly hilltribe sound.
The Mirror Foundation is currently recording and storing a vast array of songs and everyday sounds, such as that of milling rice, that are associated with life in the hills. Much of the effort thus far has centered around the adjacent village, Ban Huay Khom. Using songs sung by the children of the village, The Mirror Foundation has compiled material for one album of Akha children songs to be entitled “Songs Of The Hills”. The proceeds from the album will go to the development of the music programme, with future plans for organizing a tour of the talented Akha group from the local village. The hope is that as Akha children see their older siblings on the stage sharing this special music with the outside world, a genuine sense of pride and desire to learn the songs will be born within the children.