I listened again to the Youtube video I posted about a month ago, Don't Miss Me Baby sung by Ros Serey Sothear. A short film was made about her awhile ago, called The Golden Voice. She died in her late twenties, perhaps in the year I was born, the date is not certain, as the details of her life and death during the Khmer Rouge years are vague.
The sound is not great, but it reminds me of listening to my parents' tapes in a white Corvette on hot spring days in Southern California. These tapes were later surrendered to classical FM, rap, Mexican radio, and Khmer Christian hymns. Lost via the intervention of years and the invention of karaoke DVDs.
Perhaps I should have posted, instead, this video of Sophea Pel, the lead actress in Golden Voice. It's on the cultural register somewhere between my parents' memories before the Khmer Rouge, evacuation, and resettlement, and my American birth, youth and adulthood. A gorgeous voice wells up from a young woman in a dark living room on someone's birthday, with people chatting and squealing behind the videographer. Her voice simultaneously re-animates a dead singer and situates itself in a transcultural interstice.