Artist Profiles: Armenian Navy Band

Armenian Navy Band

Music is considered a crucial means of communication by the founder of The Armenian Navy Band, Arto Tunçboyaciyan, a percussionist and vocalist of Armenian descent. Arto claims music as his instrument of choice to express his highest aspirations: love, respect and truth.

The Armenian Navy Band’s compositions are all originals of Arto Tunçboyaciyan which, he insists, “have the sound of my life“. This music is founded on Armenian and Anatolian musical traditions and infused with jazz and contemporary culture.

Arto’s compositions embrace sounds from generations past as well as present this is what he calls “avant-garde folk”. As such, the Armenian Navy Band represents the synthesis of Arto’s musical journey and life experiences.

The Armenian Navy Band is composed of twelve of the finest of Armenia’s contemporary musicians, ranging in age from 20 to 45. The instruments include the traditional: duduk, zurna, kemanche, kanun; and the contemporary: trombone, alto sax, tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboards and piano. Together with the unique vocals and percussion and sazabo of Arto, the band’s sound is a sort of aural journey from the past to the future.

The band’s first European tour in February/March 2000 was successfully received in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain. Their next tour, later that year, included Sardinia (Italy), France, Belgium and Holland, ending with a stop in Istanbul (Turkey) for the recording of the album “New Apricot”under the Turkish label “Imaj Müzik”. This was followed by another brief tour in March 2001 and an extended European Summer/Fall tour through to November 2001.

The Armenian Navy Band’s 2004 album Sound of Our Life – Part One: Natural Seed is a nearly 50-minute-long composition in eleven parts, which is dedicated to nature. Natural Seeds takes the listener along part of the path of life that Arto Tuncboyaciyan and his musicians have traveled. The recording equally represents the return to the origins of the musical ‘seed’ of the The Armenian Navy Band; the tremendous joy and affection which the band’s musicians feel with and for each other in the here and now of their life together, also outside the recording studios and stages; as well as the hopeful, self-confident view to the future.

For Arto Tuncboyaciyan, the project Sound of Our Life is a never-ending musical documentation of the future.

Musiciansin 2009:

* Arto Tunçboyaciyan – percussion, vocals, sazabo
* Anahit Artushyan – kanun
* Armen Ayvazyan – kemanche
* Armen Husnounts – tenor &soprano saxDavid Minasyan – trombone
* David Nalchajyan – alto sax
* Tigran Suchyan – trumpet
* Norair Kartashyan – blul, duduk, zurna
* Vartan Grigoryan – duduk, zurna, clarinet
* Arman Jalalyan – drums
* Vahagn Hayrapetyan – piano, keyboards
* Vartan Arakelian – bass

Discography

New Apricot (Imaj Müzik)
Bzdik Zinvor (Svota Music, 1999)
Sound of Our Life – Part One: Natural Seeds (Heaven and Earth HE 14, 2004)
How Much Is Yours? (Svota Music, 2005)
Under Your Thoughts (Svota Music, 2009)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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