Komitas the Armenian
The warm but mournful sound of the duduk has become a fixture in film and television soundtracks today, and while not all may know the instrument by name, most would recognise its sound. The duduk is the national instrument of Armenia; it is millenia-old, as is Armenian music itself. But this distinctive and enduring music would have been all but lost had it not been for one man. Priest, musician, composer, choir master, ethnomusicologist, recording artist, musical pioneer - his name was Komitas.
Komitas was a giant of Armenian music whose life straddled the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. Komitas the Armenian looks at the multifaceted contribution Komitas made to Armenian music. And while his musical legacy would always have been immense, the Armenian genocide of 1915 meant that Komitas' work was virtually the means of cultural survival of for the nation. This program explores the legacy, meaning and the continued importance of Komitas' music to Armenians today, both in Armenia and the vast Armenia diaspora worldwide.
Listen to the full programme here.
Producer: Cara Rosehope
Sound engineer: John Jacobs
Readings/Translations: Michael Carman, Raffi Ghazarian
Special thanks to: Berta Mansourian, Raffi Ghazarian, Andranik Michaelian, Vache Sharafyan, Ani Mosinyan, Public Radio of Armenia, and Lucine Mirabyan.