My Grandma and Rice Liquor

Ngoc Khue’s colorful, imaginative Giot Suong Bay Len has been my creative juice for my work. I was jamming the album on my headphone yesterday while creating a comp in Photoshop and a fellow designer whose office is adjacent to mine heard it. He came over and asked what is that cool music I am playing. After filling him in on the mixture of contemporary and traditional vibe, I cut him a CD right away. I was astounded that he’s opened up to something that is even alien sounding to our own people. Music sure is a universal language.

As for the album, I can’t get “Ba Toi” out of my head, especially with the opening line: “Ba toi dua toi ra dau lang / Mot minh ba doi ca troi nang to.” Just love the way she carries the whole heated sun on her. The main reason the song appeals to me is that I don’t have a fond memory of my grandmas. My mama’s mama already left this earth before I entered into this world. My strongest memory of my father’s mother is that she made banging com ruou (rice liquor) and I was buzzed every time I ate it. Whenever we had family gathering, she would make an extra jar of com ruou just for me. Love you and your com ruou, granny. Hope you could feel me up there.