01 September 2007

1921) Legendary Armenian Duduk Virtuoso in Turkey for Peace

“We have lived together for so long; we don't need a mediator. We are able to resolve our problems if we want to. The time has come to set fighting aside. We should raise the next generations with brotherhood not with enmity. “Identity and sense of belonging are futile. When I blow into the duduk, I feel a heavenly joy of love, peace, serenity and fraternity running through my cells. Politics and borders are far from my magical world.” . .


World famous 'duduk' virtuoso from Armenia, Djivan Gasparyan, is giving a concert with Turkish saz player and vocalist Yavuz Bingöl in Istanbul today in honor of International Day of Peace. "My instrument is the voice of peace; I came here to lend a breath for the brotherhood of two nations," says Gasparyan, stressing that the trauma between Turks and Armenians would be overcome through tolerance and understanding.

Gasparyan and Bingöl will play in the Open Air Theatre in Harbiye. Gasparyan aims to reinforce peace and brotherhood between the two countries as he emphasizes how wrong it is to feed young generations with hostility. Following his Istanbul concert, Gasparyan will meet his fans in Ankara tomorrow evening at MEB Şura Hall.

Bingöl says this concert will be an unforgetable experience for him. The Turkish musician said he was deeply upset by the developments that followed the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. "We will be hand in hand with Gasparyan against racism, borders and wars."

Living between Los Angeles and the Armenian capital of Yerevan Gasparyan is happy to be in Istanbul for the World Peace Day. Despite his hectic schedule, the world famous artist did not turn down Bingöl's offer to play a concert together. Problems can be overcome at the negotiation table, not with fighting or war, Gasparyan says. "We have lived together for centuries; we don't need a mediator. We are able to resolve our problems if we want to." Gasparyan emphasizes that interference from outside only deepens the problems between the two nations, yet he has hopes for the future. Bingöl doesn't speak Armenian and Gasparyan doesn't know Turkish, but Gasparyan says, "Art doesn't need a translator. Notes and melodies will help us to communicate."

From time to time, the origin of folkloric songs causes controversy between Armenians and Turks, says the artist. “This is unnecessary,” he adds. "We have lived together for centuries. It is difficult to decide the origin of an anonymous piece." He says that they will provide the lyrics to the anonymous "Sarı Gelin" folk song both in Armenian and Turkish. "This folk song is claimed by Azeris and Iranians as much as Turks and Armenians. We should put discussions aside and concentrate on the feeling this song gives us inside."

'Politics and borders are far from my magical world'

Gasparyan's geniology dates back to the Eastern city of Muş in Turkey. His father named Gasparyan after the famous Armenian artist "Aiuğ Djivan". Today, Gasparyan is 79. But he began to blow the duduk at six. Influenced by a movie he watched when he was a child, he began selling empty bottles in order to buy a duduk for himself. This double reed woodwind instrument's Armenian name is "zsiranapoh", a 3,000-year-old traditional Armenian instrument. It is ideally made from the wood of apricot tree.

Gasparyan shares an experience he had with one of his many fans. During the Soviet period, before a concert in Russia an old woman came to see Gasparyan with a book in her hand. She said that she didn't have money and wanted to give her book in exchange for a concert ticket. Gasparyan didn't accept her book and found a seat for her in the hall. He had been named best-known artist among the Soviet republics at the time. A Gasparyan concert held in Stalin's honor remains a vivid memory.

Gasparyan met British producer Brian Eno in 1989 and says it was a turning point in his life. After the meeting, Gasparyan worked with many famous artists and won admiration the world over. He gave concerts in almost every country,. Despite being 79, Gasparyan is still busy with recitals. “Identity and sense of belonging are futile. When I blow into the duduk, I feel a heavenly joy of love, peace, serenity and fraternity running through my cells. Politics and borders are far from my magical world.”

In honor of Gasparyan's 62nd anniversary in performing arts, a special night will be held in Los Angeles on Sept. 20. Many important names of politics and art circles are expected to join this special event to honor a lifetime of musical accomplishment. BOX Who is Djivan Gasparyan? Djivan Gasparyan, born 1928 in Solag, Armenia, is a world-renowned musician and composer. He plays the duduk, an Armenian double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Djivan Gasparyan is known to be the master of Duduk. He has won four world-wide gold Medal UNESCO competitions (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980). In 1973, he became the first musician to receive the honorary title of People's Artist of Armenia. A professor at the Yerevan Conservatory, he has instructed and nurtured many performers to professional levels of performance in duduk. In 2002, he received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) lifetime achievement award. He has toured the world several times with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music.He has collaborated with many artists, such as Hossein Alizadeh, Sting, Erkan Oğur, Michael Brook, Peter Gabriel, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, Boris Grebenshchikov, Hans Zimmer and Andreas Vollenweider. Djivan Gasparyan and Hossein Alizadeh were jointly nominated for a 2007 Grammy award for their 2006 collaboration album Endless Vision.

What is duduk?

The duduk is a traditional woodwind instrument of Armenian origins. This English word is often used generically for a family of ethnic instruments including the doudouk, literally "apricot horn" in Armenia, the düdük in Turkey, the duduki in Georgia, the balaban in Iran and Azerbaijan, the duduka or dudka in Russia and Ukraine, duduk in Serbia, and the daduk in Bulgaria. The English word has been asserted as derived from the Russian word "dudka", or from the Turkish word "düdük".

DiscographyThe United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) granted Mr. Gasparyan with four gold medals due to his service to world's culture. Gasparyan also made the musics of 39 Holywood films such as “Call for Sin,” “Gladiator,” and “Ronin”.

I Will Not Be Sad in This World (All Saints, 1989) Moon Shines at Night (All Saints) Ask Me No Questions (1996) Apricots From Eden (1996) The Crow, soundtrack Black Rock, with Michael Brook (1998) Djivan Gasparyan Quartet (Libra Music 1998) The Siege, soundtrack (1998) Eden Roc (Ludovico Einaudi, 1999) Heavenly Duduk (Network 1999) Cosmopoly, as guest of Andreas Vollenweider (EDEL records, SLG records (USA/Canada) Armenian Fantasies (2000) Gladiator, soundtrack Fuad, with Erkan Ogur (Traditional Turkish & Armenian songs) (2001) Blood of the Snake, Derek Sherinian (2006) (Gaspayran appears on the track "Prelude To Battle") RockPaperScissors, Michael Brook (2006)(Gaspayran appears on track "Pasadena part two")

September 1, 2007 TDN


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