Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Press, Publicity, PR, Bootlegging,Collaborations...

It has been a productive few days in the city of Yerevan. Perhaps it is because of the appearance of rain clouds as of late that are keeping us away from the paradisical playground of the Congress Hotel swimming pool (see photo). Either way - have had much productive meetings with James Tufenkian, great conversations with Arthur Ispiryan (singer - see photo), Roupen Haghverdian (father of "heghinagayin" music in Armenia) who has agreed to collaborate on one of my songs and is seen in the photos writing lyrics for one of my songs, with Ardag Avdalian who is writing the storyline for a music video, Raffi Der Hovhannesian political mover and shaker, and so on.
I picked up a copy of Officia (Russian magazine) where they have covered the guitar festival in June and was pleased to see a photo of myself included in the article along with the Yerevan Weekly which seemed to have me on half of the back page with a great write up by Zela Margossian (thank you Zela - very well written and true to my heart).
The latest bit of information which had me floored was that I walked into my local supermarket where one of the employees (Harout) asked for my website details. I was happy to provide them and told him he could listen to free samples of all of my songs and could also buy the mp3's as albums or single songs off my website. He was quick to inform me that he already had bought my CD of 10 English songs from the local Armenian CD shop. I stared at him quizzically as I am positive my old CD's are not available as the original copies sold out. After spelling out my name and confirming that indeed it was my music that he bought I came to the realisation that after only 3 months in Armenia I have been pirated!!! Ahhhh - no escape from the slack musical laws in this country. The artists here are quick to be copied and there isn't very much you can do. The good news is that Harout told me there was an underground movement in Armenia of fans of my previous English stuff. I guess there was a demand that made it a temptation to pirate in the first place. It's a shame we artists don't make money on the stuff we bleed for.
So there you have it in a nutshell. My condolences go out to the boys in the jazz band Time Report that were due to give an outdoor concert at the beginning of the week. I also send my condolences to the lighting and sound technicians who were all set up and ready to roll at 8:30pm when the skies turned black and poured out endless hail and battering rain. I hope the equipment made it and the instruments are not too badly damaged. Goes to show that no matter how much you plan in this world God always has the last word!
Arsineh Khachikian my graphic designer has come up with a beautiful layout and cover for the CD. I am incredibly excited how the magic is all being woven together on this project. A further thank you to several people who donated towards the project this week - Maral Balabanian and Minas Kalachian. These kids are really going to be smiling thanks to you guys :)
I shall be back soon with an update on the village and music.
From the land of hail and rainclouds and World Cup Mania


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