Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Interviews and "Dreams"

What an interesting few days it has been! Firstly I had my first television interview on Rubicon TV station here and to my surprise sounds like it got televised to many different countries including Cyprus, Germany and England. It's fun to be recognised and have people ask if they can have a photo with you. Given the fact that I am just doing what I love it is extremely touching to be appreciated by people. I hope I will always retain the simplicity and humility of appreciating all people even if somehow the success of the music reaches leaps and bounds. It is always and will always be about my love for music and the ability to touch others with the emotion and energy it gives. This is the meaning of music, and stardom and all the rest that come with it are just temporary and ego massaging. The important thing is to love and to give love - always. It was a fun day out at the tv studio which sits in an area called Nork Marash. The views down to the city are astounding and I was just in time to catch the sunset.
Yesterday was the 9th of May which is something like Veterans Day over here. Most city folk will go out to the country and have a get together or go to concerts. I had the priviledge of being invited by my dear friend Anna to meet her family and have a "khorovadz" (kebab) together. Travelling by local martshutka which is a minivan that operates as our buses do in Europe, we first went to a more remote area of Yerevan where I met a string of relatives who all lived in a complex with their individual houses. Hidden behind Anna's apartment were beehives for making honey and a wonderful garden patch of fresh greens which her father proudly keeps. After grabbing a bottle of cognac for the folks we set of to Saghmos - to the village where her parents stay in their house.
Anna's family is wonderful. Her father is wise and proud, her mother is soft and clever, her brothers are good strong men and the family dogs, chickens, goats, and cocks - they are all fabulous too. We took the family "porsche" as they like to call it to the valley to have a khorovadz. I have never seen anything like this vehicle before. It is a fantastic acid green and could probably house about 20 people in one go (see pictures). In this car we had seats, tires, tools, a table, a bed, pots, pans, drinks, food, a gas stove, lighting, blankets, and bushels of wood. If I ever stay here and need a car - this is the car for me. The name of the car is "Yeraz" which means dream in Armenian.
On route we stopped at an old dilapidated church which apparently used to be in better condition but some people from America decided to renovate it so they took down half of it and then for whatever reason left it that way. It's a sad story. Around the corner from the church we heard live music and singing and saw that a group of boys had gathered and were playing traditional Armenian instruments on the slopes of the beautiful valley and drinking ample portions of vodka. They were having a lot of fun! After avoiding being roped in as this would be considered improper as they we all men and not exactly sober, we continued down the valley to a nice location near the river. Anna decided to make us some coffee when we got there but we forgot the jazzveh so she made it in a tin pan (see photo). I quickly learned why the name "Yeraz" was so perfect for this car. After laying a spread in the valley and cooking our meat, it suddenly started to rain heavily. We managed to relocate all of our belongings, all 7 of us, set up a table and seats and have our meal in the "Dream". Shortly after it began to hail but there we were eating khorovadz and drinking vodka with the hail stones pelting the metal above us and shouting to hear one another. It was fantastic!
We then went on to see Saghmosavank - a very old church which in recent years has been repaired and there we looked down on the valley at the Kasakh river which was breathtaking. On the way home we stopped at a park which had the Armenian letters carved in stone and I was pleased to see that S & V were together and so I posed for a photo. (how appropriate!).
All in all it has been an interesting few days. I am invited for another interview on Friday evening at 9:30pm on Yerevan tv and will also be doing the version of the Good Morning show in a few weeks which is on Armenia tv. The songs are currently being transferred into sheet music and God willing recording will begin by the beginning of June.
As for our dear school and village, I decided to use floorboards rather than parquet and managed to lower the budget by about $3,000 but we are still short on funds. I will address that in more detail by general email but we can certainly get most of the work done at this point... so onwards! I am excited to see the transformation take place.
When asked on my tv interview - what would you like to say to all the people that are not in Armenia? I replied - everyone should come to Armenia - at least once. It will change your life. And so it already has changed mine in so many ways....


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