Sambath Pich first trained on his instrument, the takhe, in a Thai refugee camp after fleeing the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Pich had studied other instruments and learned many songs from his grandfather, Dr. Los Sourn Mar, a teacher and musician in the royal palace, until the war separated him from his family. Passed down by memory from the few remaining survivors of the tradition, Pich has been painstakingly reconstructing this art form. Takhe means alligator or crocodile, as the instrument resembles the shape of one, and is a freestanding instrument with strings played with a plectrum. It is an integral part of traditional Cambodian music and is played at the New Year, weddings, and other ceremonies.