What's trending in the world of Armenian culturePhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "Residues of a Slogan." Fotoistanbul 2015.
Sounds of Sevan: Delight in the acoustics of Armenia’s beloved lake Ever visited a breathtaking trail, a vast blue ocean, or some other natural wonder and thought, “someone should bottle up these soothing sights and sounds to savor them year-round”? Well, that is exactly what Sounds of Sevan has done with Lake Sevan—and they have taken her all the way to Britain’s capital!
'Mokatz Harsner': Hear all about the brides of Moks Widely regarded as the most instrumental figure in establishing the genre of modern Armenian national music, this priest and martyr of the Armenian Genocide collected, transcribed, and preserved thousands of songs—in Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish that are still cherished today.
'Ari Im Sokhag': Armenia’s favorite lullaby No list on Armenian folk music would be complete without the inclusion of the lullaby, "Ari Im Sokhag" ("Come Hither, My Nightingale"). There are countless versions of this song all over the Internet and it remains one of Armenia’s favorite folk songs, which may seem baffling. Why so much love for a children’s song?
'Leylum': Try not to dance when you hear this French ethno folk band, Collectif Medz Bazar, is comprised of young Armenian, Kurdish, Turkish, French, and American members from Paris. One of their most renowned songs, "Leylum," is based on the popular Sasuntsi wedding dance song, "Mayroke," about a beautiful, black-haired girl named Mariam—“Mayro” in the Sasuntsi dialect.
'Tamam Ashkharh': The multilingual gusan's masterpiece When 6’4’’ Russian-Armenian Eva Rivas burst unto the Armenian music scene less than a decade ago, many branded her the “Armenian Angelina Jolie." The attention on her looks quickly overshadowed her impressive vocals—that is, until she released her cover of "Tamam Ashkharh" (“The Whole World”). Then, it seemed like tamam ashkharh began to notice her musical talent.
'Here's To You Ararat': Seeing the mountain from 'the other side' Grammy Award-winning Turkish-Armenian avant-garde folk artist, Arto Tunçboyacıyan, has been reinventing the modern Armenian folk genre for the past few decades. Though not a cover, the song "Here's To You Ararat," released with his group, the Armenian Navy Band, tells of Arto’s love for Mount Ararat, once in Armenia, now in Turkey.
'Ashkharhums Imn Dun Is': A modern take on a 300-year-old masterpiece The great 18th-century multilingual Armenian troubadour, Sayat Nova (“King of Songs” in Persian), captivated the Caucasus with his tales of love—often, unrequited. One of his most famous compositions, "Ashkharhums Imn Dun Is" ("In This World, You Are Mine"), is a love song in the Classical Armenian dialect. It’s romantic, poetic, and oh-so-Sayat Nova-esque.
'Yaman Yar': No singing here From listening to this tune, it may be a bit difficult to parse the folk song from the modern rabiz... After all, there is no singing here, and the main features of the song seem to be the clarinet and dhol (Armenian drums)—staples of rabiz, kef time (party) music in Armenia.
'Sona Yar': Bringing this Mshetsi tune back to life Taking a note from the immense global popularity of Armenian-American heavy metal band, System of a Down, Armenia has produced a few artists and bands in the heavy metal genre in recent years. Two such bands are the Vanadzor-based, politically conscious ensembles, Vordan Karmir and Zen.