June 25, 2024

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Tigran Hamasyan – An Ancient Observer 2017: Video

With the 2015 album Mockroot, Tigran Hamasyan and a powerful trio injected shots of 21st-century hip-hop and funk into folk melodies inspired by the young pianist/composer’s Armenian heritage.

An Ancient Observer is a quieter solo piano trip to similar sources, inspired by the ancient and modern contrasts Hamasyan observed on his return home after more than a decade living in the US.
His polished classical touch often combines with his affection for the struts and pirouettes of folk dances on this accessible set, while the falsetto vocal chant and catchy melodic twists of ‘The Cave of Rebirth’ recalls the vibrant music of the Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen. Short baroque interludes and brief etudes glimmer between the longer pieces. Hamasyan merges beat-boxing and percussive Indo-scat in the vivid ‘Nairian Odyssey’, while he is organ-like and ethereally churchly on ‘Leninagone’. On the title track he blends spacey vocals and jazzy grooving. It is evocative and often gracefully pretty music, even if Hamasyan’s genre shuffling occasionally sounds more irresolute than inclusive.

01 Markos And Markos
02 The Cave Of Rebirth
03 New Baroque 1
04 Nairian Odyssey
05 New Baroque 2
06 Etude No. 1
07 Egyptian Poet
08 Fides Tua
09 Leninagone
10 Ancient Observer

Tigran Hamasyan – piano

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