Culture of Armenia – Key to the Perception of Ancient Civilizations

Culture of Armenia - Key to the PerceptionThe “Komitas” disc continues the international popularization of Armenian music. Every culture has a future if it lives, constantly breathes, attracts international interest, and if it is of universal human value. Armenian music is deep and universal, and it can become an important key to the perception of ancient civilizations.

One of the most important events for all Armenians was the recent publication of the “Komitas” disc by one of the most authoritative companies in the world, the German music recording company ECM Records. The script of the disc containing 30 pages of valuable information was written by composers Tigran Mansuryan and Levon Eskenyan.

This is a great opportunity and a reason to discover and promote the music of Komitas in the West. The disc can become one of the foundations of conscious acquaintance with Armenian music and education of pride in the younger generation.

“Komitas” is the largest international appeal to the music of Komitas. It should be noted that ECM Records, being a very well-known and reputable company in the world, uses all the leverage it has to promote the recognition of its published programs. It also promotes coverage in media and hosts music festivals.

The disc contains music recorded in the territory of Western and Eastern Armenia, the melodies of Armenian group dances created over several millennia, such as, for example, “Karno het u araj”, “Karno shoror”, “Msho shoror”, female solo dances, children’s melodies, lullabies, folk songs, and spiritual chants.

All the works of Komitas were arranged with Armenian instruments – duduk, tar, dap, kamancheh, tmbuk, zurna, burvar, bell, and many others – by the artistic director of the Gurdjieff Ensemble Levon Eskenian. He used folk instruments which Komitas himself had assigned to each of his compositions.

In a very short time, the disc was commended by the international media, including European, American, and Japanese magazines. “The ensemble gives a new breath to Armenian music collected at the beginning of the 20th century. This is an archaeological reconstruction work of music,” wrote the British music magazine “Songlines magazine.” According to the magazine, the album was recognized as one of the top 10 albums of 2015.

The Austrian radio station ORF on the Christmas night included the disc’s music in its playlist. British Airways was also considering incorporating the album’s music into its aircraft’s playlist.

Now, the disc is available around the world in both digital and physical editions.

The Gurdjieff Ensemble is the most famous of the world-renowned Armenian ensembles. It was founded in 2008 by Levon Eskenian, aiming to present to the world traditional Armenian music, works, and arrangements of the great Armenian philosopher and musician G.I. Gurdjieff and the great composer Komitas. The ensemble consists of the leading musicians of Armenia.

ECM Records also published the first disc of the Gurdjieff ensemble titled “Music of George I. Gurdjieff”, which won the prestigious Edison prize in the Netherlands in 2012, the National Music Award of Armenia, and was also chosen by major radio stations as the best disc of the week (ABC radio station Australia, WQXR – USA).

The Gurdjieff Ensemble toured with concerts and performed in several famous halls and at international festivals in Lebanon, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Holland, Poland, Romania, Australia, and Armenia.

The ensemble set itself the goal to continue its tour with the program of Komitas in various countries, halls, and educational institutions around the world.

In 2016, ECM Records also planned the publishing of Komitas’ piano works performed by Lusine Grigoryan.

Komitas – The Gurdjieff Ensemble, Levon Eskenian (EPK)

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