Culture 14:31 06/05/2009

HASMIK HARUTYUNYAN GIVES LULLABY CONCERT AT “GIVING VOICE” FESTIVAL

On April 19, 2009, the St. Anthony Cathedral of Wroclaw, an acoustically perfect structure from the late Middle Ages, was the setting for the first-ever concert of traditional Armenian lullabies. Small statues of saints looked down from above the altar and around the church as Harutyunyan sang selections from her award-winning “Armenian Lullabies” CD and several lullabies she recently discovered in various archival materials, including songs from Moush, Musa Ler, and Nakhichevan. Although singing a capella, her songs were intertwined with the echoes of Norayr Kartashyan’s sring (blul), shvi, and duduk, as the lullabies of Old Armenia, included those recorded by Komitas (“Akna Oror”) and Mihran Toumajan (“Orim, Orim” and “Oror Jojk Em Kapel”), resonated in the late night concert.

The concert program took the listeners on a journey through the provinces of Historic Armenia, to the provinces of Taron, Vaspurakan, Kharberd, Tigranakert, Trebizond, Cilicia (Kessab and Musa Ler), and Eastern Armenia. Hasmik also sang “Nazei Oror,” a lullaby about the Armenian Genocide, from the poem “The Blind Ashough” by Avetis Aharonian, minister and culture figure of the Armenian republic of 1918-1921. Near the middle of the concert, as Kartashyan played “Vardani Mor Voghbu,” a folk melody about national hero Vardan Mamikonian, on duduk, Hasmik quietly recited the Hayr Mer.

During the course of the festival, Hasmik presented a series of workshops about the Armenian lullaby and traditional Armenian children’s songs, including several written or arranged by Komitas. She also taught several Armenian folk dances, including the well known Gyovend, Kochari, Ververi, Tamzara, Papouri, Shoror, and Mayroke dances. Later, during gatherings and parties, the workshop participants demonstrated their new skills to festival organizers and guests.

Also representing Armenia at the festival of theater and song was Mher Navoyan, musicologist from the Komitas State Conservatory. Navoyan lectured about Armenian monodic music, as well as conducting discussions with Theater Zar members about the life and work of Komitas. Theater Zar, along with the Grotowski Institute (Poland) and the Center for Performing Research (Wales), organized the week-long festival. Currently, Hasmik and her brother, Aleksan Harutyunyan, are recording an album of traditional Armenian wedding songs for Face Music, a record company based in Switzerland, while they continue their activities with the Shoghaken Folk Ensemble of Yerevan, Armenia.


Source Panorama.am
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