HYE TIMES…Harutyun Chkolyan: Armenian Soundscapes, Vigen Hovsepyan: Echoes

Exotic sounds from The Middle East show that they can sound completely both modern and timeless on these two albums by Armenian artists.

Harutyun Chkolyan plays traditional reed instruments duduk and zurna as well as folk flutes svi and ney while bringin in various strings, percussion and vocals on a mix of original and folk pieces. The reeds hover like a mist on the gracious “Offering” while there’s a gentle grace and spaciousness to the modern “Sunrise” that makes you feel the warmth of the early morning. Sounds from the village include the Old World feel of “Sahara/Ishkhanapar/Kikh Par” and the otherworldly mix of strings on woodwinds on “Lai Lai/Artashati Par.” A trip through multiple generations.


Vigen Hovsepyan plays guitar, cajon, percussion and duduk while also singing with featured artists Havard Enstad/cel-p, Garegin Arakelyan/perc-b and a collection of guests on a rich collage of contemporary and traditional sounds. Hovsepyan’s voice creates an almost liturgical mood on the haunting “Nare” and luminous “Tal Tala” while the percussion dares you to form a dance circle on “Talishu Jampan” and “The Immigrant.” Dark moods float with mystery on “Es Gisher” and “Drdo” while meditative shadows grow long on “Sarei Hovin Mernem.” Enchanting!


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