İçeriğe geçmek için "Enter"a basın

NYTimes: Timely Hymns to a Timeless City

In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the transformation to a free market can
practically be measured in days. Thirteen years after the end of the Soviet
Union, high-end boutiques, fancy foreign restaurants and Internet cafes are
among the more obvious signs of change. But these novelties are superficial.
Just as the Soviet era failed to homogenize Yerevan — which, at 2,700 years, is
one of the oldest cities on earth — the forces of the free market will have a
tough time remaking it.

For proof, listen to the music of Lilit Pipoyan, a Yerevan native and one of
the most beloved artists in Armenia today. A vocalist, pianist and guitarist,
Ms. Pipoyan sets ancient Armenian texts to original music, sings elegant
interpretations of coarse village songs and writes new lyrics and music inspired
by these traditions. Her voice — heady in both the musical and the metaphorical
sense — has the ringing perfection and acrobatic flourish of opera and the
warmth of a mother singing a lullaby.

Ms. Pipoyan’s album "One Day of the City" (available from
leans more modern than her previous work, but modern in a way that reflects
Armenia’s consuming sense of its antiquity. In this tiny country in the
Caucasus, writers who have been dead for centuries are discussed as though they
came to dinner last week, and conquests from the Byzantine era are mentioned
almost as current events. Yet Ms. Pipoyan’s amalgam of traditional and
contemporary idioms also has an interpretive freedom that speaks volumes about
the newly unencumbered society in which it was created.

The album begins with three songs about a city in transition (Yerevan,
clearly). In "One Day," Eastern-tinged arpeggios on guitar are joined by light,
syncopated percussion, which gives energy and motion. Here and in other songs, a
flute’s embellishments and a cello’s plaint lend the characteristic pathos of
Armenian folk music.

Ms. Pipoyan maintains a consistent sound, distinguished above all by her
brilliant, ornate vocal interpretations. She saves her dreamiest, most capacious
compositions for early lyrics, as in "Far From You" and "My Beloved," with texts
from the 14th and 18th centuries. Her interpretation of the village song "Cold
Waters" is spirited and graceful. Depending on the tune, Ms. Pipoyan can sound
like an Eastern answer to Edith Piaf or Joni Mitchell.

While Ms. Pipoyan’s odes to Yerevan provide a thoughtful framework, the real
soul of the album is the traditional "Cilicia." The mournful, patriotic lyrics
embody a fantasy about returning to Cilicia, a patch of land in modern-day
Turkey in which Armenians took refuge in the 12th century. Since that
resettlement at Cilicia is considered the origin of the Armenian diaspora, the
song evokes strong feelings for far-flung Armenians, many of whom have never
actually seen Cilicia or Armenia itself.

Ms. Pipoyan’s rendition may annoy purists, but others will love her lilting
way with the heavy words and her guitar picking, which has the tinny staccato of
a music box. They may never want to hear "Cilicia" belted around a dinner table

Yorumlar kapatıldı.