Posts Tagged ‘music’


[Octet School]: Octet Students Say “Thank You”

June 9, 2010

Students from the Gyumri “Octet” School of Music recently presented a photo album called Octet is Grateful to Rock to British Musician Ian Gillan as a thank you for the work he has done to improve their school. All proceeds from this concert were donated to the Octet school.

They presented the album to Gillan on the morning of his Deep Purple benefit concert, which was held in Armenia in May.


Credit: Students of the Octet Music School


[Octet Music School]: The Rebirth of Gyumri’s Art Scene.

June 4, 2010

More than 1,000 participants from nations like Russia, Belarus, France, Egypt, Iran, and China, gathered in Gyumri last month for the Veratsnund International Music Contest. Commemorating the 95th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the Veratsnund – or Renaissance — contest also marked the revival of Gyumri’s vibrant art scene, which has grown significantly in recent years.

The Gyumri “Octet” School of Music was one shining example of this growing community of artists. Sixth grade violin student Ani Khachatryan won an award for the performance of her signature “music rhapsody.” Ani is just one of the many students under the tutelage of teacher Anahit Grigoryan, whose kids are some of the most talented young musicians in the area.

Ani Khachatryan


Ani Khachatryan with Octet students


Credit: Marina Bazayea


[Web Wrap]: Best of What’s Next: Armenian Folk Singer Mariam Matossian.

May 21, 2010

By Liana Aghajanian via ianyan Mag

The music industry has evolved so dramatically over the last few decades that everything – from back up singers to digital voice enhancement – enables anyone from squeaky clean Disney stars to A-list celebrities to prove their vocal worth to the world.

While voices get altered, replaced and even lost in their background music, there are those like Mariam Matossian, the Armenian-Canadian folk singer whose bare, stripped down voice has charmed audiences in Canada and the U.S. that speak for themselves.

Please continue on ianyan Mag.


[Beneficiary Potraits]

April 28, 2010

Young Violinist at FARs Octet Music School

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Credit: FAR Staff


[Listening to Armenia]: Lucineh Hovanissian’s Eclectic Musical Mastery.

April 16, 2010

By Daniele Faye Sourian Sahr

Being a creator today means stacking up against the creativity of so many who’ve lived before. And if you love everything from 1000 years ago to yesterday, that’s a lot of eclectic influence to sift through. It’s no wonder many musicians and composers feel they have to choose a period or a style to focus upon, to quiet the clamor of the ages.

But, ultimately, why not enjoy it all? We’ve entered, afterall, the age of definition destruction and space compression (around the world in 180 days? more like hours!). That’s why I’ve enjoyed Lucineh Hovanissian’s performances and repertoire so much. She hasn’t restricted herself to choosing. She doesn’t even categorize herself, “I’m a singer, composer, and improviser.”

Lucineh Hovanissian


Credit: Katariina Anttilla

In Lucineh’s world, Sayat Nova meets jazz piano joins folk expression and blends with scatting speeches. Singing at her piano, she’ll marry German and Italian song with her modern Soviet (jazz and classical) upbringing while touching the mystical middle ages on the side.  Not to mention, one performance will take you all across Armenia with songs from her ancestral homeland of Van to the far mountainous regions of Karabagh. And on the way back, you might end up stopping by Paris for a croon and tipping your hat at New York without missing a swinging beat.

When one has built up one’s musical technique and talent to a point that it serves one rather than pigeon-holing by what it lacks, one is free. Lucineh’s unbridled expression lives through her voice and nimble fingers flying across the black and whites. She improvises on known works (she does a mean scatting Sabre Dance, for example), writes her very own, or simply interprets age-old songs and will perform all with fluidity and vigorous confidence.

Lucineh Hovanissian

Lucineh Singing.jpg

Credit: Festival Des Musiques Et Du Monde

I was taken by her jazz-cabaret style performance in New York City’s “unWINEd” where she engaged the audience with fascinating explanations of each work’s source or inspiration. Afterwards, I asked her what she would choose to say of her relationship to music in general. Lucineh’s response certainly rang true with what I’d experienced from her playing first hand: Fantasy & freedom have no other limits besides those one puts [on] him or herself. From this point of view, NYC is a special place for an artist!

Lucineh is from Yerevan but just as her music travels across the globe, so does she. Her next live performance will be in France. But you can listen to streaming clips of her work here. Check out the video below from her NYC performance featuring her own version of Humoresque, full of Gomidas references and Gershwin-like turns reminiscent of An American in Paris.


[Octet Music School]: More Support for FAR’s Octet Music School Construction.

April 9, 2010

Proceeds from rockers Tony Iommi and Ian Gillans’ March concert at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall raised more than 18M AMD (approximately US$45k) for the renovation of FAR’s Octet Music School in Gyumri.

Both artists are also recording some new songs, which will be sold to further raise proceeds.

Ever since the two visited the school last October they have been dedicated to improving it. They began by donating several instruments and now their efforts are channeled toward a full-fledged reconstruction.

Ian Gillan




[Octet Music School]: 20 years later, rock returns with a message.

April 9, 2010

After 20 years away, rock artist Ian Gillan of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, returned to Armenia to once again give back. Gillan, along with Tony Iommy of Heaven and Hell and Black Sabbath, Geoff Downs of Yes, and Guitarist and Songwriter Jon Dee, led two benefit concerts at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall on March 26th and 27th to raise money for the reconstruction of the FAR’s Octet Music School in Gyumri.

Gillan, along with members of Pink Floyd, Queen, and Yes, came to Armenia more than two decades ago in the wake of the devastating 1988 earthquake for the benefit concert Rock Helps Armenia, where he recorded the famous song “Smoke on the Water.”

In October 2009, Gillan, Iommy, Downs, and Dee returned to Armenia. One of their stops took them to FAR’s Octet Music School, where they were immediately struck by the students’ work and decided the organize the donation of musical instruments. Shortly afterwards, the idea for another benefit concert was born.

Over the years, FAR has supported the school by providing the children with musical instruments and covering the cost of their tuition fees.
The March concerts were a success. Guests were mesmerized as they watched the musicians sing along with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia, led by Czech Conductor Frideman Rile.

Performing hits like Highway Star and Woman from Tokyo, the performers absorbed the energy of the crowd and delivered a great show.

After the Smoke on the Water finale, Gillan faced the crowd an ended on one last stunning note: “Armenia is my spiritual homeland.”

The remix of Smoke on the Water will be available on iTunes. Proceeds from sales will also go to the reconstruction of FAR’s Octet Music School.

Ian Gillan with children of the Octet Music School


Credit: FAR Staff

Ian Gillan on stage of the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall

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