“Perfect pitch and training ...That clever transition using the bells and their ability to mix a capella with piano and jazz were impressive... My hat goes off to them.” Kenneth Hamrick
The recent collaboration of the Hover Choir and Vahagn Hayrapetyan Jazz Trio began by a concert entitled “Te Ches Ga-li, Meh-Nas Ba-Ri” (If You’re Not Coming, Be Good) at Aram Khachaturian Grand Concert Hall in Armenia’s capital, where Hover State Chamber Choir, jointly with Vahagn Hayrapetyan Jazz Trio (Vahagn Hayrapetyan-piano, vocal; Armen Hovakimyan-contrabass and Arman Mnatsakanyan-percussions) performed 12 Armenian ethnographic songs of Aparan (non-traditional adaptations by Vahagn Trio).Led by the remarkable conductor Sona Hovhanissyan, the Hover (winds in Armenian) choir in this project performs traditional Armenian folk and sacred music in the original arrangement.The Hover singers were accompanied by Vahagn Hayrapetyan, an accomplished pianist and arranger, and his Jazz Trio.
Vahagn and the musicians display an uncanny ability to riff and integrate modern and old melodies. At times the musicians accompany the choir: at others they deliver solos, sometimes powerful and blistering, at others soft and muted.
The project deserved a number of high appraisals in New York, where the musicians performed at Alice Tully Hall , Lincoln Center in March this year.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Q: We know Aparan as one of the centrally situated regions of Armenia. Why did you choose Aparan folk songs for your collaborative project?
A: It was our tribute to the roots of Armenian folk music. The Aparan folk music is a pure, genuine material, with a broad range of moods and rythms and lyrism of melodies. Now as the project is a reality, it is very interesting to see the afterlife of our working process in the whole diversity of outcomes and perceptions. We’re lucky to work with an extremely rich musical material.
Vahagn Hayrapetyan & Hover State Chamber Choir of Armenia
(pianist, composer, arranger, chamber choir - Armenia)