Monday, July 03, 2006

Concerts, Music, Parties,....




Tuesday evening, the temperature at 30 degrees Celsius and hoardes of people pouring in to the hall, the air conditioning unfortunately having given up in the previous weeks, and 14 musicians on a stage which would be more appropriate for 6 or 7 we pulled off one very hot and sweaty concert!
The overall energy was fabulous. The crowd was a good mix of diasporans, local fans who had been exposed to the tv interviews, big boys like James Tufenkian and some of Arto Tunciboyacians Navy Band musicians, poet Levon Blbulian, Lilit Pipoyan, soloists and organisers of Kohar, artist Yuri Arevian, one of the employees of my local supermarket, etc..
We managed to play most of the songs on the new CD and I threw in a couple of my old English tunes with just the guitar and percussion which went over very well. By the 7th song my chest looked as if it were made of glass and sweat was dripping on my guitar and running into my eyeballs and stinging my eyes. We persevered to complete 12 of the 14 songs we had planned to do to an audience who equally endured the conditions and finished off clapping along and applauding with great enthusiasm.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...to everyone who made it happen. Linus Quartet: Lusine Aghababyan, Lilit Mkhitaryan, Gemma Abrahamyan, Askhen Gasparyan. Flautist Nelly Manoukyan, Guitarist Ashot Vosganyan, Percussion Edik Hartunyan, Accordion Arthur Khachatryan, Kanun Mary Vardanyan, Shvi Arthur Krikoryan, Duduk Armen Krikoryan, Oboe Asghik Ghazaryan, and Clarinet Martin Oolikhanyan. To my arranger/producer Narine Zarifyan, Naregatsi Art Institute who gave us the hall, recorded the concert on to DVD and invited the press. To the technical team who sorted it all out last minute and of course to all the people who took the time to come and watch the show - thank you.
We have been invited to play Vahakni Country Club some time in mid-late July and James Tufenkian is eager to purchase the first CD and play us in his hotels and restaurants. The general feedback has been very good and having just arrived from a recording session this morning I too am excited about the evolution of this record.
The plan is to wrap up at the end of this month and return to Armenia in the 3rd and 4th weeks of September to give a CD promotional concert. In the meantime we are preparing to record a music video for one of the songs so that it can circulate in the month of August and more people can get the gist of what the music is about. God willing it will touch people the way Armenia touched me last year and we can raise a bit of dosh for the benefit of these villages.
Speaking of which..the mayor of the village will be down today and we shall be likely to go up this week and put things into action finally. On my return in September I expect to be able to photograph a school with solid wood floors, running water in the kitchen, tiled hallways and kitchen and God willing if we get the funds some new desks and chairs too. I miss the kids so much already - I would truly enjoy a trip up there this week if studio time allows it.
Friday night marked the closing ceremonies of Meg Azg Meg Meshaguyt (One People, One Culture) which proved to be a ROCKING outdoor concert with thousands gathered in Republic Square to witness many great and well loved Armenian artists including the Kohar Choir , Nune, Alla Levonyan, and even Andre - our Eurovision song contest entry this year. We placed 8 by the way for our first year of participation - not too bad eh? The evening ended with splendid fireworks over the Square and I must say I was impressed by the quality and duration (Go Armenia). I admit that at the first explosion quite a few people took to the floor - hey you never know.
Saturday evening was a splendid dinner at a restaurant called Gedap in the valley. We had some delicous food in the company of singer Artur Ispiryan and his lovely wife Madlene, Alex Sardar, Edil Hovnanian, Brian Arzruni, and other friends who to say the least are all movers and shakers in Armenia.
As for yesterday evening, we enjoyed a feast at the Hovnanian residence that overlooked the valley. A completely overwhelmingly beautiful house with 16 bathrooms, wrap around balconies, an art collection to die for, complete with impecccable taste and a swimming pool. Edil created an absolutely beautiful atmosphere with fantastic food from top restaurants, good wine, good music and an excellent mix of people. We enjoyed some chit chat and broke into song later in the evening. Some of the Birthright Armenia volunteers got the bright idea of throwing the guests into the pool at 1am. Black evening dress, sandals and jewelry did not seem to work in my favour as I was hurled into the swimming pool. I was not very impressed but thanks to modern day tumble dryers and blow dryers I made it home in one piece.
Today I meet with James Tufenkian to hash out ideas regarding the interior design of his hotels. I also meet with Arsineh Khachikian my adorable graphic designer to review the CD packaging and will be off to watch "Time Report" a fantastic jazz band on the steps of the Cascade. Another interesting evening of music to say the least for which there seems to be no lack of in this small and exciting city. An artists paradise to say the least.
I shall be back with more - emerging occasionally from the dust and the heat...
Peace and love.
S

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sonya:

i think you are beautiful and you have the voice of an angel. your concert was phenomenal, and i enjoyed our conversation afterwards.

bedros

11:35 AM  
Blogger Sonya Varoujian said...

Thank you Bedros. That's very kind. Glad you enjoyed it and hope to see you at future concerts.
Live life, live music :)

11:42 AM  

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