Tigran Hamasyan

LPR, Murmrr at The Opera House

Brooklyn, NY

Show: 7:00PM

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Event Details

7PM Doors | 8PM Show

About Tigran Hamasyan:
Hamasyan considers himself a student of the art of melody. He describes his encounter with Armenian folk music in his teenage years as transformational–in part because its themes are intricate and asymmetrical yet still direct and heart-wrenching. He regards the Songbook material— the works written for Broadway shows and films by composers and lyricists from the 1920s through the 1950s— with the same reverence.

“I think about beautiful melodies all the time when I’m playing–early European music, Armenian folk music, whatever … no matter how great you think you are, there’s always these unbelievable melodies out there. Written by someone else, a long time ago. That’s what I’m looking for when I compose–to feel timeless, to feel eternity in a song. That’s the mark of a really interesting composition, you could listen to it forever.” 

On StandArt, Tigran Hamasyan’s first collection of songs associated with the Great American Songbook, conventional narrative tunes are stretched with interludes and detours, grand reharmonizations and fitful odd-meter counting exercises, a choppy drum interlude that recalls Steely Dan’s “Aja” and outbursts of whiplashing free improvisation. In this place, just about anything goes–except timid tinkering around the edges of a venerable theme

“I ended up arranging quite a lot of music, only standards that I really, really love,” Hamaysan recalls.“Then at some point, I was like ‘I should record this’–I realized I’d been thinking about these tunes for years, and I didn’t want to lose the momentum. After some time, I understood that I need this as an improvisor. In almost a physical way, I needed to get back to this mode of trying to find something within the tradition of where I came from.”

He contends that a world obsessed with categories and classifications needs all the improvisational energy that’s available. “Everything is so structured now,” Hamasyan laments. “There’s a rigidity in the thinking.Jazz defies that. It represents something higher. For me it is the embodiment of freedom within music."

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Event Location


The Opera House

288 Berry St., Brooklyn, NY, 11249

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Tigran Hamasyan