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Djivan Gasparyan

Djivan Gasparyan & Ensemble

Djivan Gasparyan & Ensemble / Armenian Fantasies

Armenian Fantasies

Before we had even finished recording the WorldNetwork CD "Heavenly Duduk" (WorldNetwork 47 Armenia: Djivan Gasparyan) presenting Armenia's living legend as a brilliant soloist on the national instrument duduk, it was agreed that there should be a follow-up project showcasing the country's boundless treasures of soulful music, played by a larger ensemble. The Network team flew to Yerevan to record this powerfully evocative music in all its intensity and profundity, and were greeted there with unforgettable hospitality and generosity. Armenia is a country where music is as much a necessary part of life as the very air we breathe. That is reflected in the tracks on this CD. Djivan Gasparayan has taught at the conservatory in Yerevan for more than 30 years, and has performed with the Kronos Quartett, Brain Eno, Peter Gabriel and a number of film soundtrack composers. For this album, he has gathered together an exquisite ensemble consisting of some of the leading soloists on the kamantcha fiddle, the kanon zither, the tar and oud lutes, several duduks and percussion. These haunting compositions come to us like echoes from the mountains and valleys of Armenia. A particularly interesting aspect is the blend of early Christian and oriental melody unique to this region at the foot of Mount Ararat, where Noah is said to have landed with his ark. These are melodies that transform mourning into hope, accompanied by the warm sound of the duduk, a woodwind instrument that is widely regarded as the mystical voice of the barren highland plateaus between the Caucasus and the Taurus.

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