Tigran Hamasyan Tiny Desk Concert
Tigran Hamasyan is an Armenian pianist who plays mostly original compositions, which are influenced by traditional Armenian folk music. The compositions often utilize unique scales and modalities which give his work a truly interesting style. In addition to Tigran’s folk influence, he is often influenced by American jazz, incorporating dissonant, complex chords into his songs.
Hamasyan has been living in his home country of Armenia since the pandemic began, and he’s taken these unsettling times as an opportunity to catch up on projects that have been remained unfinished; Some for years. For many musicians who previously spent most of their waking hours on the road touring, it’s one of the few benefits of the COVID-19 lockdown- the ability to get old things done and finally move onto new work.
Similar to musicians, the infamous Tiny Desk Concerts have also been forced to adapt to this year. The overall premise of the desk concerts was to showcase a musician at the offices of NPR in a small, intimate setting. That kind of environment isn’t difficult to replicate when it’s turned into the homes of the artists themselves. (Usually their bedroom, or a corner of the house.) Hamasyan jumped at the opportunity to do his own home concert in conjunction with NPR. The first performance in his Tiny Desk (home) concert, “Road Song,” features a melody Hamasyan wrote in 2008, but eventually recorded on his 2013 album, Shadow Theater. Hamasyan will frequently play a solo version of the song live, but had never played it alone in a studio until now. Then follows “Our Film,” from his latest and project, The Call Within. This performance mirrors the intensity and sentimentality of the album version, but here it’s more intimate and fanciful. The last tune, “A Fable,” is the title track of his 2011 solo album, which was inspired by the writings of 13th century Armenian Vardan Aygektsi.
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