Gevorg Dabaghyan
 Miniatures - Masterworks for Armenian Duduk

1 Anush Garun - folk inspired contemporary composition
2 Kan Voor Jan - bardic love song (improvisational)
3 Shiraki - folk dance
4 Alagyas-Khnki Tsar - folk inspired contemporary composition
5 Vardani Mor Voghb - medieval;text set in 5th century
6 Yaylavor Yar - by modern folk singer (1896-1978)
7 Akhalqalaqi - traditional dance
8 Knir im Balik - traditional lullaby
9 Hayots Aghcheekner - folk inspired contemporary composition
10 Shustar - classic Middle Eastern mode and motif
11 Krngeli - folk dance
12 Aravot Luso - 12th century religious
13 Spasum - classic Middle Eastern mode and motif
14 Havun, Havun - 10th century religious allegory (rooster and hens!)
15 Tsaghik Es - folk dance
Gevorg G. Dabaghyan (Armenian: Գևորգ Դաբաղյան) is a duduk player of Armenian folk music. He is a professor of the duduk at the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory, and on the advisory board of Yerzart Arts. In 1991 he founded the Shoghaken Folk Ensemble, a group of Armenian folk musicians and singers who specialize in traditional Armenian music.
The earthy, haunted voice of the ancient Armenian wind instrument known as the duduk has dominated Armenian folk music for over a thousand years and transfixed modern listeners far beyond the Caucasus. Gevorg Dabaghyan, one of Armenia’s greatest duduk players, brings a rich delicacy and power to his interpretations of both folk and liturgical music, performing most recently on the movie soundtrack of Atom Egoyan’s Ararat, and in concerts in Europe and the USA with the world with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as part of the Silk Road Concerts.
The music of Armenia is steeped with ancient instruments and haunting melodies. The intriguing rhythms and melodies seem to combine the music of Turkey and the Balkans to create mellow, ambient, melancholy, meditative music ... this is exactly the kind of music I love! Gevorg Dabaghyan reveals the soul of Armenia with each and every note he plays on the duduk, a double reed pipe. Some of the music dates from as far back as the 5th century. Others are from the 10th & 13th centuries, some from the 19th century. Many of the selections are considered "Eastern classical" music, meaning they fit within prescribed modes and makams. There are folk songs from regions that in the past were Armenian territory. There are religious pieces with symbolism, for hope, resurrection and a new life ... Often the music is accompanied by a drone (produced by another duduk) and there is the beat of a dhol (large cylindrical drum). This is the music I play after a long and stressful day ... it soothes my restless spirit and restores my energy. While remaing still and concentrating on the sounds produced by the dudu,k my mind clears the tension and worries of the day. It can meander into unknown musical landscapes by following the melodies and rhythms of this fascinating and beguiling instrument. Anyone who loves Middle Eastern, Balkan, or Turkish music should expand their horizons and experience the pleasures of the duduk ~ Erika Borsos
As the liner notes to Miniatures: Masterworks for Armenian Duduk suggest, Dabaghyan is one of the foremost duduk players in Armenia. He has been featured on more than fifty recordings, including the soundtrack to Atom Egoyan's Ararat (an amazingly bad movie, by the way). Miniatures is his second solo release; the first was volume four of the six volume Music of Armenia set (released in 1996). Dabaghyan is also featured on several albums as part of the Shoghaken Ensemble—including the recently released Armenia Anthology.
The goal of Dabaghyan's Music of Armenia volume was to introduce western audiences to the mystery and the magic of the duduk—a feat that is readily accomplished. By contrast, the goal of Miniatures is to explore the role of the duduk in the myriad styles that make up Armenian music. Hence, this fifteen-song collection features duduk performances of traditional folk and dance songs, troubadour love songs, Eastern classical compositions (known as makam in Arabic and mugham in Armenian), and Armenian liturgical chants.
When I say "features," I mean it: the only accompanying instruments are the dhol (a round drum for rhythm) and a duduk dharm (a continuous duduk drone note played in the background). One thing that a solo recording such as this one does is render its disparate songs a rather unified sound. Hence, the medieval and liturgical songs blend seamlessly with the folk dance and lullaby numbers. At times, this can make the actual listening experience a bit redundant; in fact, I had to study the liner notes to be able to differentiate one musical style from another. It's easy to listen to all fifteen tracks here and think, "Well, there are a lot of nice melodies, but they're all the same—what's the point?" Only by listening to each track by itself and carefully discerning the overall shape and structure of the different musical styles here can one truly appreciate not only Dabaghyan's artistry but also the richness and depth of the duduk's sound. For this album is really all about the duduk. If you enjoy the instrument's sound, you'll love this disk; if not, then get something else.
Reviewed by: Michael Heumann
Thank you TOT for the music :) 

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