interview Minas Lourian: A guru-like cross-cultural expert from Venice who makes it all happen! “To have great art, we must commission it! In order to commission it, we must have great commissioners!” If there is one person in the Armenian world who could be credited with turning Frank O'Hara’s famous words into action, it’s Minas Lourian, who serves as director of the Center for Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Venice, Italy. Lourian was the catalyst behind Riccardo Muti’s recent “Roads of Friendship” concert in Armenia for the premiere of “Purgatory,” a commissioned piece by Tigran Mansurian. The maestro and his wife Cristina received the presidential Medal of Friendship, while Lourian was awarded with the Medal of Gratitude for their “significant role in the strengthening and promoting of cultural relationships between Armenia and Italy.” H-pem sat down for an exclusive Skype interview to get valuable insights from the unconventional cross-cultural executive who has a deep knowledge of the Armenian-Italian community and a whole raft of stunning achievements under his belt.
multimediaGuide The Spitak earthquake: Healing through music three decades on While the world has turned a blind eye to the current atrocities, the displacement of thousands of native Armenians, and the ethnic cleansing in Artsakh, it is ironic to remember that 32 years ago today, it took an earthquake to put Armenia on the world map, as world-famous artists chipped into fundraising efforts with the talents they possessed.
multimediaGuide Your go-to Armenian cultural list! An antidote to viral isolation... These are trying times: The world is being overrun by an insidiously contagious virus, schools and businesses have shuttered, and people all across the world are physically locked-in and virtually logged-on. Since the advent of the internet, many have posited whether the invention can bring us closer or drift us further apart. For the time being, our “real” world has been suspended and moved to a “virtual” reality. It is perhaps the biggest migration in the shortest span of time in history. If this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we all need connection, community, and comfort. One of the heartwarming sides of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an explosion of all three C’s—whether it’s neighbors singing songs from their balconies, museums posting exhibitions online for free, or musicians livestreaming their concerts. Art is the antidote...
submission Music | 'Angels' in commotion above Sandmoon’s blazing guns For the past decade, Lebanese indie-rock-folk band, Sandmoon, has been shredding up the local music scene with its fresh, fluid compositions. Helmed by Lebanese-Belgian-Armenian Sandra Arslanian, the group’s fourth studio album, “Put a Gun/Commotion,” drops this spring. Check out “Angels,” the second single off the upcoming record, in our video section below!