© Zani-Casadio

The Naghash Ensemble
The sound of ancient Armenia, reinvented for the 21st century

Hasmik Baghdasaryan soprano
Tatevik Movsesyan soprano
Arpine Ter-Petrosyan contralto
Emmanuel Hovhannisyan duduk, flauti shvi and blul
Aram Nikoghosyan oud
Tigran Hovhannisyan dhol, dumbek (drums)
John Hodian piano

music by John Hodian

“I am leery of labels and find myself at a loss as to how to describe the music of the Naghash Ensemble. Folk or Classical? Ethnic or Cosmopolitan? Ancient or Modern? In the end, it is a natural product of someone who was raised listening only to Armenian Music in the home, studying European classical music in his youth, making a living as a jazz improviser but like all of us was constantly surrounded by contemporary rock music”. These are the words of John Hodian, composer, pianist and founder of an ensemble named after the medieval Armenian poet Mkrtich Naghash. While his music is the fruit of the diaspora, the titles based on ancient poems are meditations on man’s relationship with God by a XV-century priest and artist forced into exile for refusing to take down the steeple of the church he had built.

The Programme