Friday, May 18, 2007

Photos of the Armenian Navy Band in Marseille

So here we are - us, them, we, Seto Tuncboyaciyan too! What a weekend, what a weekend....!!! I am waiting for the professional photos from Armen JAN!!! (Like of all of us in a group at Vieux Port on the waters edge.) Let the Armenian Navy go forth and the ship keep sailing on! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Armenia Project 2006: Pleasure and Pain, the Good with the Bad

Pleasure and Pain, the Good with the Bad

And so it happens that time continuously brings with it a new set of experiences, a new set of life lessons, unforgettable moments worth remembering and moments we would like to forgot but cannot….

I left for Marseille on Friday and took with me a friend who I had only met twice before. She found me through my music. This woman taught me a great lesson – she kindly expressed the way she felt about my music. How it stirred something deep within, how it echoed what she felt and wanted to say, that it was like coming home to something….she also told me how she felt so awkward about asking to meet me the first time and how she hoped I wouldn’t think she was strange. I saw in her the love and respect I have for the Armenian Navy Band musicians and how at times I too felt awkward around them by the power the music had on my emotions and by my inexplicable loyalty to them. It was the first time she had met Armenians in such a large number in such a laid back and relaxed environment. It was the first time she had been to see live Armenian music. In all her years she had been starved of her identity and has now discovered it with the appetite of a child who learns to speak for the first time. Her company this weekend once again confirmed to me the power of music and how with honest music come honest people – people who do not use their popularity to take advantage of society but actually welcome the presence of those who are positively affected by their art. It is definitely ying and yang. Humans do not seem to survive too well without each other – at least in some capacity.

I saw my Armenian brothers and sister Anahit again. The bond and understanding I have with the musicians is not common to European or American society but from what I understood while living in Yerevan for as long as I did was that this is one of the things that does exist in Armenia. An ability to take care of one another, to respect and love like family without the need to justify it all the time, to not feel the need to explain why things are the way they are, to allow one to be free of the expectations of society and how things ought to be and should be and must be. To simply be non-judgemental and comfortable in your own skin and be around others who are comfortable with themselves.

With the incredible pleasure of meeting new Armenian artists from around the world and watching two of the best Armenian Navy Band concerts I have ever seen which even drove the young audience into a such a passionate frenzy that it led them into a full-fledged powerful dance performance, comes the ending as well. Comes the morning when it is all finished once again and I return to a land where people run from work to their television sets and back to work the next day. Comes the pain of separation from friends who are like family. Comes the acceptance that we are always changing and that circumstances and situations will change too one day. Comes the knowledge that as a result of living so fearlessly and spontaneously and allowing oneself to reach the heights of happiness, that it is inevitable that even the “normal” day to day experience becomes more of a negative contrast for those who choose to live this way. Comes the realisation that if we choose to live this way we cannot go unscathed – we suffer the consequences of all those pleasures – which is the absence of that something we know is beyond the daily experience. Which is once again where music steps in- allowing us to take that journey with our hearts and souls to those places and experiences we cannot always access ourselves.

I am in a grey place now. A place neither here nor there. A place that is like a waiting station without an actual bus schedule. I shall have to wait and see where the next journey takes me. Until then I will savour all my good memories and accept that pain is a consequence of living this way. Is it worth it? Hmmmmmmmmm…..I am smiling from ear to ear so it must be…..

I want to embrace you with my arms but not my heart
Like a soft breeze that darts playfully around you
You will not know where I came from or when I might leave
But you need not worry that I will take that which is inside you

I want to be pure and good
Shedding light upon life’s rocky path
Bringing hope like the sunrise
Persevering without expecting…

But even the flower which brings a moment of happiness
Will wilt with the absence of any nourishment
Created and developed as someone specific
I know the unforseen future lies not only in my own hands

I want to embrace you with my arms but not my heart
Because such strong love will surely smother
Heavy rains cause flood and the bright sun tends to burn
Thus the strong person finds themselves alone in the world…..

And so there it is. I will definitely put some pictures up from the weekend. We had some photographer friends around who documented it all very well! And what about those elections in Armenia? Was progress made towards democracy? Anyone out in Yerevan who can tell me what the general vibe is? How long will I last without a trip back to the Homeland I wonder..... Anyone have a bus schedule please? :)
Still living with passion.
Peace and love