Posts Tagged ‘armenian rock’

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[Listening to Armenia]: Hasmik Movsesian is Music of Armenia.

May 7, 2010

By Daniele Faye Sourian Sahr

Let’s say, you wanted to start a collection of Armenian music or decided it was time to attend some live events. Normally, it would take a lot of googling, youtubing, ituning, and the like. But there is one website which opens its elaborate doors onto a treasure of all you could hope to find. It’s called Music of Armenia: user-friendly one-stop searching when it comes to today’s (and some of yesterday’s) Armenian musicians, composers, and music.

Promoter extraordinaire, Hasmik Movsesian, has revolutionized the Armenian music business by creating this new company, and all from a Facebook page she devised in October 2008. Her PR know-how gleaned the possibility of greater realizations from these rudimentary beginnings, and, less than two years later, Music of Armenia is swiftly spreading the sounds of Armenian music across the globe.

Hasmik Movsesian, founder of Music of Armenia

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Credit: Isabella Panattoni

Her successes thus far speak for themselves. Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records recently picked up two talented artists through Music of Armenia. And on the evening of April 30th, she organized a highly successful concert called “The Voice of Duduk” featuring duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan and British multi-instrumentalist Andrew Cronshaw at St. Ethelburga’s Centre in London, where Ms Movsesian herself is based.

A Hasmik Movsesian is as crucial to the music world as any talented performer or songwriter. Without the kind of work she does to create a web of artists concentrated in one place, listeners would miss out on finding pleasurable experiences and gifted musicians would get lost in the media fray (or never make it into the fray at all!). And when it comes to Armenian musicians, especially, Music of Armenia is connecting them from all across the Diaspora and Hayastan, as if to play together in one room, behind a set of grand inviting doors, waiting to be opened by any curious listener.

Check out this Music of Armenia promotional video of Astghik Safaryan, one of Ms. Movsesian’s musical clients and the first pop rock female singer in Armenia. The song is entitled “Meghavor Es” (“You are Guilty”) and set in Yerevan.

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[Listening to Armenia]: A Brush with Armenian Rock Bands for the Young Professionals

August 11, 2009

By Daniele Faye Sourian Sahr

In a van leaving Noravank Monastery, we seven Young Professionals traveled in an hour from the 13th Century into the 21st. Greeting us outside our Yerevan hotel was a concert stage, a group of young Armenian rockers, and the bands performing for them. Charles Aznavour Square was transformed by the sounds of jazzy rock rhythms and saxophone expressions from the band Road Movie and the heavy metallic serenades of Dogma, whose lead singer Zara Gevorgyan entwined classic Armenian dance gestures and a silky Eastern voice around the deep Western-born beats energetically strummed off the bass guitar.

E.V.A. at Fete de la Musique

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Credit : Celine Kaladjian

In the meantime, a young Armenian, in his 20s sporting a jean jacket quite like mine, turned and asked me if I was American. He quickly picked up that this was my first visit, as a Diaspora Armenian. Our equal participation in the concert brought us both a sense of pleasure, and through the booming sounds emitting from the speakers and amidst the passionate cheers of  fans, he strained to hear my answers to his questions full of curiosity as to my experiences in Armenia. My smile seemed to tell him what he wanted (and was glad) to know.  In an eagerness to return the favor with his own thoughts, he handed me a pamphlet on Armenian politics and urged me to take it, to learn more of what young people believe Armenia can achieve in the future.

Road Movie performs outside the Moscow Cinema at Charles Aznavour Square in Yerevan as part of Fete de la Musique

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Credit : Daniele Faye Sourian Sahr

Rock music is not heard as much in Armenia as other genres – classic Middle Eastern styles being a prominent flavor, both in pop and classical music. But just as rock music brought young people together in America decades ago, the modes of this music are doing the same for today’s young Armenians, looking for new ways to express hopes for the country, as a democracy self-sufficient amongst nations.

Take a look at the youtube video link from this festival and see how Armenians are adopting a Western genre to their own expressive needs. Hopefully, for a few minutes, you can feel the energy of having been there yourself.