New composition: “Sukhumvit 39” by Evan Samuels

“Sukhumvit 39”

By Evan Samuels

December 2020

[Chart here] [Listen here]

Arriving in Bangkok late into the night, or rather very very early in the morning there is not much to see or distinguish on the ride from the airport into the city. This is especially true with a mental state fogged by almost 24 hours of travel with little to no substantive sleep. The coming of morning however revealed the location and surroundings of our residence for the week. Though morning is perhaps a generous descriptor since in reality sleep was necessary until well past noon local time.

A walk out of the door, down the alley, and onto Sukhumvit 39. The path that led to the main drag of our part of town. The sleek buildings along Sukhumvit Road created a canyon filled with wide streets and narrow sidewalks. A towering two-level elevated train system and pedestrian walkway streaming down the center of the canyon cast a welcoming shadow in the bright tropical sun. This everyday trek off to the scheduled and improvised adventures always set the proper tone and ambiance required for a long days journey.

By the time the sun sets and the sky darkens, the lights of the city come alive and cast a calming glow on the streets and thoroughfares. Bustling people move through the cooling air in the markets, restaurants, and clubs. Along the smooth waters of the Chao Phraya the international language wafts above the commotion. Even half way around the world the music of jazz brings people together. It is instantly recognizable that we are all students of the same masters.

And late into the night it is time to make the journey down that increasingly familiar and reassuring path. Through town, down Sukhumvit, onto Sukhumvit 39 and towards our humble alley and abode.