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Music and Healing: An Armenian Odyssey

The healing properties of music is suddenly an inescapable topic.

Serendipitously, the last concert given by PostClassical Ensemble before the pandemic shut down live music was an exercise in healing.

This was An Armenian Odyssey at the Washington National Cathedral on March 4. The final three minutes, documented in the film clip above, evoked the 2018 Velvet Revolution in Yerevan. It consummated a 75-minute Armenian narrative of diaspora, tragedy, and regeneration.

The memorable live animation was created by Kevork Mourad, whom you can see standing amongst the musicians. The cellist is Narek Hakhnazarian. The composer is Vache Sharafyan. PostClassical Ensemble is conducted by Angel Gil-Ordonez.  

The troubadour ascending at the close, drawn by Kevork, is an iconic Armenian hero: Sayat-Nova, who composed and sang in four languages. In our production, he embodied cultural fluidity: poetry and song as instruments to foster mutual understanding. 

The inspirational ambience of the Great Nave of the National Cathedral enhanced this message. Many wept. We were reminded of the ways in which music can empower and uplift – without appreciating the challenges we would all face in a matter of days. 

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