Friday, February 23, 2007

16 Days and Counting

..........saxophones, trumpet, trombone, qanun, kamancha, drums, percussion, blul, duduk, shvi, zurna, bular, bass, cello, keyboard......
16 days and I meet up with the Armenian Navy Band in Lyon. If I can't get to Yerevan, Armenia fortunately I can get to Lyon, France and experience a small but very profound part of Armenia in France. 18 days to the absolute pleasure of seeing these guys do a live show. No two of which have ever been the same thanks to a level of musical competency that gives them the ability to improvise fearlessly and play the moment. A talent that not many musicians possess. A true inspiration for any music lover.
I apologise for my lack of interesting photos the last few months. Most anything coming out of England would appear to be gray anyway. I am waiting for my camera cable so that I can upload some photos. I still manage to zoom and click on interesting things - one of which was my father as Santa Claus this last Christmas. I had never witnessed this in all of my life and it was definitely a moment I will never forget!
So the good news is that feedback continues to come in from around the world regarding the Janapar recording. There has been interest expressed from many diasporans around the world such as Brazil, Argentina, Cyprus, and such so I emphasise that it would be with great pleasure that I come and share my music. Thank you. A most wonderful surprise was the purchase of my CD from a Korean in Korea. Just a confirmation in my belief that music is truly the universal language. So when Arto sings "doo doo da de doo danglar da da de doo da" and it speaks volumes there is no surprise. The message is in the emotion, the delivery, the sound. Precious music :)
Next Wednesday is a tribute to Hrant Dink in Central London hosted by Amnesty International. I am happy to be participating in the event. I will not be singing this time but I will be reading two poems in Armenian that evening, one that translates as such:

From Ravenna

Across the hoary crest of Ararat
Centuries have rolled, like a minute,
And passed on.

The lightning swords of countless storms
Have been shattered on its rock
And passed on.

The eyes of generations, in death-throes,
Have looked on its peak
And passed on.

Now, for a time, it is your turn -
You, too. must look at its proud brow
And pass on.


Hmmm - I certainly have looked at the proud brow of Ararat in awe many a time. It is an image forever haunting, forever changing, ever so majestic. So true that we will come and go and our dear mountain has been there since the beginning of time. Its awesome.
And so it looks like late Spring early Summer this year will hold a Sonya concert in London. Also on the agenda is a special acoustic concert by the ANB and if all goes well we shall have the full band here as well. I shall keep you updated throughout. Speaking of which hopefully I will get my camera cable soon and you can imagine there shall be photos of me grinning from ear to ear in Lyon.
Peace and love to all and a big big big thank you to friends, fans, and family that support and encourage the music.
Live life , live music.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A New Page

This blog is written not for those who expect any cheering up but maybe for those who don't mind me having a moment of reflection.....this afternoon at exactly 2:00pm I posted my petition for divorce. As I stood there in a busy rainy English High Street, I dropped the big white envelope down the slot and the tears came rolling down my eyes. I was there alone - at that moment in my life. Something so overwhelmingly emotional. I cannot describe what it feels like to go through this but I have been told it is similiar to losing a loved one in death. No matter how many ways I looked at the situation - I had not lost my husband - I had never had him it seems - which is the only way I can reason his abandonement of me, which is the only way I can explain his callous behaviour, which is the only way it becomes possible in my mind. How one human being who promises to love another can make these decisions.... not discuss them, seek advice, and run into the arms of the next easiest thing... It's a hard hard hard thing to go through and accept. I know many people would not put this information on a blog. It IS very personal perhaps - but I guess I am saying I am not ashamed because I know we are all human and it happens to the best of us. I wish more people had the courage to express themselves. Thanks for those who have been supportive and have reached out. Its like cancer - people are afraid to talk to me about it - but I appreciate those who have the courage to do so. God knows I need my friends and family. I know that God will allow me to heal through my music and time. I do hope the emotion manifests itself in my music and perhaps something positive will come out.
I spoke to my old friend Bernard today. He made light of the situation that life is a bunch of paperwork. You are born - you get a birth certificate, perhaps a baptism certificate, then school reports, degrees, bills, marriage certificates, house titles, perhaps divorce??? Its another piece of paper I've got to deal with is how he put it. And so, when all is done and dusted with this piece of paper, I suppose I've got a new piece of paper to look forward to? A fresh page, a new start, a new life, and best of all new experiences to look forward to. I'm off to see the Armenian Navy Band in Lyon in one month - now what could be better than that? :)
Peace and love

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Moving Along in the UK

Hello world, hello all - I hope this blog finds you well. I have fallen off the face of the earth once more but found my way back sifting through the many things that I have been dealing with in the last 3 months! Firstly I want to say that I am extremely pleased that Time Magazine will finally publish an issue in February containing facts about the Armenian Genocide with a fulll explanatory DVD after the ridiculous Turkish propaganda they circulated in March. Thank you to the many people who came together to object to what had previously been distributed. I also wrote a letter to the Editor and pessimistically thought what difference will it make but whether or not it did - I am thrilled to see that through coming together and putting the pressure on we as Armenians (and those who wanted the truth to be heard) achieved something extremely positive. Bravo to the ANC for their thank you letter to TIME as well.
On a lighter note - the good news is that it looks like the Armenian Navy Band and myself will definitely be hitting Australia at the end of this year so I will keep you posted. A massive thank you to Avak Bedikian at Armenian Life magazine who will be making it happen. Speaking of which - Armenian Life magazine is a very professional high quality magazine that comes out of Melbourne and covers all sorts of topics relating to Armenia around the globe. For those in OZ - you should be getting it! For those outside of OZ - have a look into it - it's very interesting. Of course this next issue will be dedicated to Hrant Dink.
At the moment we are in the process of planning an Armenian Navy Band concert in London as well. I am exploring the possibilities and all the angles. I am trying organise an ANB/Katuner (fantastic jazz by 7 of the ANB musicians)concert in Central London and a special acoustic ANB trio/Sonya concert the following day. We shall see what happens. It would be nice to premiere Katuner in France this year too - they are there at least 3 times so it would be a great opportunity. Anyone who has experience in these areas that feels like contributing please let me know.
I spent the day yesterday at the Victoria and Albert museum admiring textiles, furniture, fashion, and other forms of art. I nipped out for a Crepe (by the way - Yerevan - start this business out there - you can't get a really good crepe in Yerevan yet - the closest you get in a Blinchik!) and then returned to the National History Museum where I stood in awe of the dinosaurs once more and tried to go and see some spiders to try and overcome my fear. Instead I was confronted by a giant rubber scorpion which didn't really do much for me but inspired by Christian Bale in Batman Returns, I thought if I keep exposing myself to spiders I might get over it. The presence of several large ones in the apartment in Yerevan this summer left me less than pleased. I could become Spiderwoman and start jumping off buildings and spinning webs but somehow I think they might lock me up if I try...
My museum binge was followed by the electric guitar exhibition at Harrod's where different designers, musicians, and artists, chefs & photographers have designed their own guitars. It was interesting - some were more interesting than others. At the end of the day the amount of consumerism and availability at Harrod's had my head spinning and I was yearning for the simplicity of Yerevan - where life in that sense can be so much less complicating.
Oud lessons are coming along slowly and I can play a few melodies now. I need to practise religiously so I can take it on stage with me at the end of the year hopefully. Apart from that I delve into the world of the worker tomorrow where I start at a Creative University as assistant to the Head teacher (similiar to that which I did last year with a Primary School) but now I am dealing with bigger humans - the kind that tend to swear and spit more but I am looking forward to working.
So - I shall be back - hopefully with some more interesting information. Just thought I would mention I am alive!
Love, love, love all around!! The sun is shining in England today (a rarity) and so we shall shine on as well.