Come and be moved by the stirring melodies of the Armenian duduk with Tigran Aleksanyan accompanied by Ian Blake and Andrew Cronshaw at 'Listen to the World'. This is an in-person event which is also live streamed. Free tickets for refugees and asylum seekers.
Listen below for a taste of the performance we’ll be hosting in April.
Tigran is one of few people in the UK who is a master of the ancient Armenian instrument, the duduk. A double reeded oboe-like woodwind hollowed out of apricot wood with a beautifully melancholic sound.
Tigran was born in the Ararat Mountains of Armenia and his father enrolled him in music school aged nine. He started learning flute but then moved on to the duduk, an instrument unique to that part of the world and generally considered Armenia’s most important – it’s also on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, and is thought to date back to between 1500 and 3000 years. Tigran studied with two of Armenia’s greatest duduk masters, absorbing their many techniques while also developing his own, and graduated from the Armenian Conservatory of Music in 1992, having already won a national competition. He’s since been members of the Armenian State Dance Ensemble‘s orchestra, the Akhtamar Dance Group, with which he toured internationally, and more recently La Banda Europa – the pan-European orchestra connecting cultures through music.
He relocated to the UK in 2001 and has subsequently worked as an orchestral guest soloist, a session musician for film and television soundtracks, and worked with artists including both Yasmin Levy and Daphna Sadeh. Tigran also teaches duduk and recently co-founded the National Duduk Ensemble of Armenia. In usual times, outside of current Covid restrictions, Tigran regularly tours as a member of the group SANS with Andrew Cronshaw and Ian Blake – both of whom we also recorded for Orchestra of Samples.
Andrew Cronshaw is a British multi-instrumentalist, playing a 74-stringed electrified chord zither, marovantele (a 44-stringed double sided kantele of his own devising), a wide range of wind instruments including fujara (a 180cm-long Slovakian shepherd’s three-hole whistle generating shivering breathy harmonics) and ba-wu (a seductive-toned brass-reeded instrument from China’s Yunan province), and other non-mainstream instruments.
His performing and recording career began in the early 1970s, and since then he has released nine solo albums, and most recently two by the band that he leads, SANS, which features Finnish singer and kantele player Sanna Kurki-Suonio, Armenian duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan, with whom he’s worked since 2006, and decades-long collaborator British/Australian reeds player and multi-instrumentalist Ian Blake. Photo credit: Alex Gaspar
Ian Blake, bass clarinet, soprano sax
Originally from London, Ian has spent many years in Australia where he toured extensively with folk singer-songwriter Eric Bogle and produced two of Eric’s albums at his Canberra studio. In 2005 he received a local government Creative Arts Fellowship from ACT (Australian Capital Territory) and pursued a PhD in composition and sound art at the Australian National University and was later awarded an Australian National Folk Fellowship.
Working in both Australia and the UK, he’s worked as a composer for theatre, film, chamber music, dance and a number of public art projects, while his production and sound engineering skills have earned him both a Gold Disc and an ARIA nomination (Australian Recording Industry Association).
More recently he composed the music for the Cyrano de Bergerac production by London’s Theatre in the Square company. Whilst mainly rooted in the folk and world music scene, Ian’s career has been varied and far-ranging, from performing in the Far East and across Europe to Alaska and Zanzibar in east Africa. He’s worked with well-known folk groups including Pyewackett and Mellstock Band, and with English folk singer June Tabor. He regularly collaborates with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Cronshaw and Armenian duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan. Photo and bio credit: Orchestra of Samples.
Featured image photo credit: Womex.com
‘Listen to the World’ is a place of live music where the traditions and talents of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers find a home among local artists. Come and join us, as either a listener or performer, everyone is welcome.
Co-ordinator: For all questions about Listen to the World or to be added to the mailing list, please contact Jo Winsloe Slater at email@example.com.
This event is supported by Arts Council England:
St Ethelburga’s work sits at the intersection of climate and peace. We believe there can be no peace on Earth unless we also realise peace with Earth.
We offer events, training, leadership programmes and multimedia content which equip and inspire people to become peacemakers in their own contexts. Our project areas include community reconciliation, refugee inclusion, radical resilience, viewpoint diversity, and spiritual ecology.