Komitas Mix

Mix with songs of the Armenian priest Komitas Vardapet

2000 (33′48″)

For the radio production “From Geghard to the Hollywood Bowl”, a programme about Armenia produced by Dorothee Forma and me, I made a collage about the Armenian priest, musicologist, ethnologist and composer Komitas Vardapet (1865-1935), who similar to Bartok had collected, written down, arranged and sung Armenian songs and melodies. Musical basis for this were old sound recordings on which one could hear Komitas himself singing. These songs, restored as much as possible, gave me the idea of comparing and mixing the same titles with contemporary arrangements.

You can hear Komitas singing along with a new version of the same piece. (1st Komitas collage).

During the Stalinist period, many of the songs were blown up, taken out of context and packaged in pompous musical arrangements, the state just wanted to celebrate and show off its glory. An acoustic fragment of the era that also reflects the history of the Armenians. (2. Komitas collage).

The third Komitas collage is a quiet, sometimes meditative conclusion to the now and the future.

During our trip through Armenia, Dorotheé and I, together with a broadcasting company in Yerevan and its editor Setrak, we broadcasted The response of the listeners was overwhelming. On the one hand, many had not heard Komitas before, and on the other, this mix gave an aural insight into the country’s history.

© Copyright - Michael Fahres