interview Posthumous vibes: The sun and hope of Harutyun Topikyan’s eternal love More than 40 days ago, on this day, amid the chaos of COVID-19 and the existential battles on various fronts in Artsakh, one of the titanic figures of Armenian choral music, Maestro Harutyun Topikyan, the artistic director and conductor of the Yerevan Chamber Choir succumbed to the vicious virus, months after candidly exposing his unwavering love for Komitas Vardapet in a candid interview with h-pem contributor Gohar Topchyan.
interview Reckoning quarter tones and beating the odds: Barkev Taslakian reaches polyphonic peaks Looking up to his “great teacher” Komitas, Maestro Barkev Taslakian relishes in breaking the mold and making history. His Fayha Choir is all about presenting unprecedented a capella renditions of Arabic songs, which have resonated with and captured the hearts of international audiences. Taslakian takes this vision even further to topple negative stereotypes and to promote unity and cultural diversity in an ever-divided world...
liveStream Komitas Medley - The Yerevan State Chamber Choir A medley of Komitas songs performed by the Yerevan State Chamber Choir at the Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex of Yerevan on July 27, 2019. (Live recording/stream) Performers: Yerevan State Chamber Choir Chief Conductor: Harutyun Topikyan (Founder; Artistic Director)
multimediaGuide ‘Im Chinari Yare’: The Kousan Chamber Choir's theatrical twist on a Komitas classic The lyrics are looped in pursuit of the significant other and the melody makes one dance on tiptoes. They ring down through the ages to spin a jovial celebration of love. Yet, there is more to the newly released video clip of the song by the Hamazkayin Kousan Chamber Choir of Lebanon. It highlights the vibrant side of a pioneering composer’s legacy and imbues his creative world with tangible warmth.
interview Garabala: ‘Our interaction with other cultures shouldn’t be seen as a threat to our identity’ Garabala has increasingly become part and parcel of musical life in Beirut—a cherished phenomenon that brings the thrill of experimental concerts to the party spirit of modern-day kefs. After a captivating performance at this year’s installment of Innovate Armenia in LA, we met some of the band members before they hit the stage for a hometown concert.
interview Resurrecting the exiled: A conversation with John Hodian of the Naghash Ensemble When Armenian-American composer John Hodian first heard Hasmik Baghdasaryan’s striking timbre, ringing across the sacred columns of Armenia’s Garni Temple, he was transfixed—he knew he had to work with her, but had no idea how. It took several years of ruminating and rummaging through some dusty manuscripts before he came across a fragment of a poem by Mkrtich Naghash, a long-forgotten 15th-century Armenian priest and poet from Dikranagerd (modern-day Diyarbakir). Hodian—at that point, a listless NYC composer who had just moved to Armenia—had finally found his inspiration: or in show tune-speak, the Hammerstein to his Rodgers.
liveStream 'Mr Erkir' - Nver and Seyran Ghazaryan Father and son Nver and Seyran Ghazaryans, both members of the Hamazkayin Toronto Kousan choir, performing at the Armenian Youth Center of Toronto Hamazkayin Theater, during the Hamazkayin 90th anniversary celebrations on Dec. 9, 2018. (Live recording/stream) Vocals: Nver Ghazaryan Shvi: Seyran Ghazaryan