One of the interesting soundscapes in public spaces in Bangkok is the presence of street karaoke. The street musicians provide microphones for people who wants to sing accompanied by them. There is also the option of using minus one from a phone connected to a speaker. Anyone has the opportunity to show their skills. We could call this: open mic. People can choose from a variety of songs, mostly Thailand pop songs, and the audience are the people present at that moment.
After recording the soundscape of boats in the Chao Praya River, Saphan Taksin, I stumbled across this “street karaoke”. A man was singing along to an old man playing an electric guitar. The man was singing entertainingly. I then decided to record the street karaoke. I do not know the title of the song they sang. There was one phrase which was repeated in the song: “bye-bye!”. From his gesture, I thought that the man was singing humorously. He slip in some funny sounds like “brrrrrrr”, “hok hok hok”, “yeee”, and “pieaauu” expressively. I do not know why he did it, but he seemed to be happy singing it. There was also a funny moment when the music stopped, and the man went “lhoh lhoh” asking what had happened.
Street karaoke is a interactive amusement in the busy town of Bangkok. Anyone who wanted to vent their stress can just pick a song and sing in front of random people. People would give the musicians money after singing, or watching the entertainment. The people who sing in this street karaoke varies, there are employees, elderly people, teenagers, and more. Music has become an interactive language in this public space. Everyone needs to express themselves. Care to try? Visit Bangkok and look for them on the corner of the streets.