The Cognition of Traditions: Mutual Ties
The art innovation is a category of thought, and not a factor of mechanical
communication to the contemporary methods of composition techniques.
The same way, the positive experience of the communications to
the traditions underlie not on the way on their illustration or extraction, but
on their creative insight.
The peak periods of the art history always coincide with the renaissance
of the old traditions, newly conceived. We can definitely state that the professional
music, leaving more and more the folk traditions for its own elite and refined world, still gets the inspiration from the folk and traditional art.
The contemporary professional music, regardless its apparent remoteness
from the folk music, reveals out of its midst the composers who disclosed
the source of the original folk music traditions and expose more and
more trustworthy the insight of past, as a result of their conceptual creative
This deep penetration into the folk traditions realizes the mutual ties,
i.e. the contemporary music not only acquires and enriches the ideas, but
also revives the old traditions, make them independently topical.
Thus the folk instruments - duduk, zurna, kamancha, dap - had become
the heroes of Avet Terteryan's symphonies. Associating a folk instrument
with his symphonic conceptions, the composer revives the national tradition
of these instruments and their deep psychological implication.
The author notices in Terteryan's innovations the challenge to the idea
of globalization, the confirmation of originality and exceptionality of every
national culture, the protest against its leveling. In the same time, his music
forms a new level of artistic awareness containing a wide and multifaceted
world. This is a mythology of new type, when a human being is learning to
live in all the times.
The new wave of the Armenian instrumental music is tightly connected
with the stimulation of this process. Here we can state the revival of the
Armenian music's impaired ties with East. We observe the revival of the
"Armenian East", as the Armenian culture has always interpreted the
Eastern culture from the point of view of its Europeanized, Christian mentality.
This historically justified proximity to the East is expressed today in the
music by Vache Sharafyan - representative of a new generation of
Armenian composers. After Terteryan, the folk instruments, such as duduk,
zurna, sring, kamancha, have become the main heroes of his compositions.
They are written for original chamber ensembles. A tiny, exquisitely tailored
ensemble is also a tradition reviving the old Armenian-Eastern practice,
generally within the frames of trio - kamancha or tar, percussion
instruments and duduk, but also as enlarged gusan ensembles.
Rouben Altunyan's works provoke an interest in the light of Eastern
instrumental concert performance. His "Deserted Cornfield" for chamber
orchestra, bells, duduk and zurna re-creates the idea of this new tradition.
Yervand Yerkanyan's creative search looks considerable today in the
light of Terteryan's artistic innovations. Yet in 1981 he has composed the
opera "Shushanik", where the chorus sings the letters of the old Armenian
alphabet. Unfortunately, the opera wasn't staged in time, and its original
creative experience remained as if idle. But the idea survived and demanded
for its realization, which was finally fulfilled. The original intonations of
the old Armenian language have always been the tuning fork of the
Armenian instrumental music; a language that has treasured the unexcelled
masterpieces of poetry and prose. And finally, in Terteryan's Sixth
Symphony one can hear the chorus sing and scan the old Armenian alphabet.
The idea, deeply conceived in the midst of Armenian music, has found
its incarnation within Terteryan's typical scope.
The works by Martin Israelyan are also perceived in the light of this
wave - to restore the connection with the ancient musical art forms, to disclose
their semantics, to answer the echo of first instrumental calls, first
songs and musical dialogues. Martin Israelyan has put the revival of the
poetic intonation, traditional poetic forms and, certainly, traditional poetic
contents into the practice.
Each artist finds his own self-expression way on the path leading to the
sources of musical traditions. The root of the artists' creative originality is
possibly hidden in the core of his outlook to the folk traditions. In this
sense, Avet Terteryan's innovative energy appears a truly regenerative, not
only in the scope of national culture, but even wider. The interest towards
his compositions outside Armenia also proves that.