ISTANBUL, AUGUST 13, ARMENPRESS: The most renowned duduk master
Jivan Gasparyan, will be performing together with famous Turkish
musical group Kardes Turkul in an open-air concert in Istanbul,
dedicated to the50-thanniversary of an Armenian college in Istanbul.
Jivan Gasparyan was born 74 years ago near Yerevan. As a boy, he
became attracted to this instrument by listening to musicians
accompanying silent films in the pre-talkies era. He was fascinated
by the musicians’ infallible ability to express a range of moods from
romance to the extreme upbeat. In this way, his life as a musician
started – and his musical life has carried on uninterruptedly ever
since, leading to collaborations with such prominent figures on the
international music scene as the Kronos Quartet, Brian Eno, Peter
Gabriel and a number of film soundtrack composers.
Duduk is an ancient Armenian instrument resembling an oboe.
Cylindrical in shape, it is made of apricot wood and has 9 finger
holes (including one thumb). At least two players are used together,
the second instrument holding a tonic drone called the dam. Despite
having a range of one octave, duduk requires considerable skill to
play. Historically the existence of this instrument is said to trace
back to as far as 1200 BC.
Gasparyan, both as an artist and a living legend, reflects the
society he lives in and has fulfilled his responsibility to his
people by preserving the Armenian musical heritage and, in decades of
teaching, passing it on to the young. In his performances, recordings
and collaborations cutting across all musical styles, the spirit of
his duduk speaks to us all, proving that the Caucasus has more to
offer than just news of ferment, turmoil and catastrophes.