Arsen Petrosyan is a young duduk master living in Charentsavan, Armenia who is considered a musical prodigy. Within Armenia he is quietly talked about as one of the potential heirs to the duduk throne Gasparian now occupies, Petrosyan playing has been characterized as “sensitive, nimble, and noble” by his mentor Gevorg Dabaghyan (Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble/Shoghaken Folk Ensemble). Indeed, on his debut album Charentsavan: Music for Armenian Duduk, released by the Oakland, CA-based record label Pomegranate Music, Petrosyan has crafted an ambitious program spanning over 1000 years. From the haunting piece “Havik” composed by Armenian monk, mystic and poet Grigor Narekatsi (951-1003) to the instant new ethno-folk classic “Lullaby for the Sun” written by oud legend and Night Ark/The Secret Trio founder Ara Dinkjian (1958- ), Petrosyan’s roadmap through Armenian musical history takes the listener on a rewarding sonic journey.
SELECTED TRACK: ‘Lullaby for the Sun,’ ‘the instant new ethno-folk classic,’ Arsen Petrosyan, from his album, Charentsavan: Music for Armenian Duduk.
Recording in just under three weeks in Yerevan, Armenia during the summer of 2015, Petrosyan worked with noted classical/world music producer Raffi Meneshian (SoloDuo, Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia, Gor Mkhitarian) to create a slightly refreshed folk sound that incorporates instruments such as the harp, udu drum, acoustic guitar, tar, kanon, and dhol within the texture of the recording. Additionally, “Charentsavan” features pieces sourced from Armenian villages and regions that now lie outside of the Armenian Republic such as Mush (Eastern Turkey), Kessab (Syria), Javakhk (Georgia), and Palu (Central Turkey). Many of these songs had been collecting dust in former Soviet archives on the verge of becoming lost and neglected until Petrosyan revived and recorded them for this album.