Armenian Sound Salad

For some strange reason, you cannot listen to the sound mix with Chrome. Firefox works :)

There hasn’t been any sounds around for quite some time! So, here you are, a long due long mix of what I came across in Armenia. Yerevan has been a lot about music for me, I met a lot of musician, playing very different styles. What you are about to hear:

- one day I walked into a bookshop, where chairs were ready for something. A guy was also carrying a cello around. It was a book presentation, in Armenian and Russian, with, at the beginning and at the end, some cello playing. The speeches were quite obviously quite boring, even for those who could understand them. My old neighbours were falling asleep on their cane! So first you will hear a few seconds of the boring speech, and then the cello.

- the quiet cello will lead you to the gentle tapping of the sheep going down the foggy mountain from Tatev. The shepherd was gathering them with funny whistling and “shhushing” – I know, there was already some sheep tapping around in Bulgaria. What can I say, I really like this sound.

- next is the woman at a “museum” near a monastery close to Dilijan. She was reciting the story of how people used to live in the old time, I guess (the museum was full of old everyday life object).

- you will also hear the weirdly loud electricity buzz on some high voltage overhead cables. It was also near Tatev on that strange foggy morning when it took Artyom and I two hours to walk down from the foggy mountain – only two cars, already full, went by us, one up and one down.

- one day, we were invited to a sort of strange restaurant by our host in Meghri, and he said there was a birthday party in the next room, with “live” traditional music, and that we could have a look. The party had not started yet, but the musician was here. Yes, musician, only one guy. “Live” music meant a guy, a keyboard and a beatbox. Needless to say that’s far from being what I fancy! I believe that the main part is, in its acoustic version, performed by a clarinet.

- luckily, in Yerevan, my friend Tigran was willing to perform some Armenian songs for me. The first is supposed to be played with a flute, but since his second set of arms has not finished growing, he whistled it instead. The second song is sort of sad, but beautiful (I don’t remember what it is about, unfortunately)

- to stay with the acoustic guitar, a little excerpt of a prototype of song by my friend Hrach, a wonderfully inspired guy, Syrian-Armenian who has been living in Yerevan for a few years. The music is by him, the lyrics are by a friend of his. This is just a prototype, but I wanted to put it here because I really like the harmonies

- then, to be more eclectic and because I have heard many different things in Yerevan, some sort of so-called “fusion“. Not my style at all, but since I stayed in the club a whole evening to film the performance for a friend, I thought it deserved to be here too :)

- and finally, while in a café with Kütch, I met to Dutch guys playing for the famous RCA, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Thanks to them I could go to listen to the rehearsal. On this excerpt, they are playing a rather picturesque piece by a Dutch composer. I enjoyed it tremendously, as it brought me back to my time in Vienna, when I was somehow closer to the world of classical music…

Oh, and I almost forgot: there is one song I heard a lot, but I forgot to include it in the mix because I didn’t record it myself. I was sitting next to dear Arman from Bambir while he was editing this video. Had that song in my head quite a lot afterwards!

See you next time to hear about Iran :)

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