Armenia in Jethro Tull

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Well I couldn’t get anyone to part with their frequent flyer tickets, so I’ll have to wait for the next time. Its only took Jethro Tull 40 years to make it to the land of Ararat, let’s hope for a quicker turn around on the next performance.

Since my first Next Step podcast regarding circular breathing, I’ve been pushing the metaphor in my head and in my teachings. Ian Anderson shared some thoughts in a song called “Circular Breathing” a few years back which sparked my own interest regarding my taste of music. There is a point at which songs from the woods of Armenia and Scotland meet. I’ve been at that intersection since 1969 when I first heard Jethro Tull’s “Stand Up” album and made some conscious connections with the riffs my dad was playing on the oud or the duduk. (Not to mention the connection with some of the more nasal-congestion-chanting done by the deacons I grew up with from the villages.)

Jethro Tull was in Armenia last night and for me, at the virtual concert I attended, Armenia was in Jethro Tull.

Circular breathing is the art of taking in air while exhaling. Duduk players use it to hold the dahm, or the drone – the monotonous tone that keeps the rest of the musicians in tune. In Armenian Orthodox chant a drone is held by some of the monks as the melody lines are chanted by others. In Buddhism, the constant “sound of the universe” is the drone that underlies the concert of life. It’s all connected. Its the underlying strength in this new movement we’ve been branding as Armodoxy.

Bringing Tull to Armenia and having Armenia touch Tull was something I had waited for. I’m sorry I couldn’t attend (and even more after watching the video at the Caucasian Knot). I had a chance to meet Ian back in 1994 and it has kept me going. The flow of ideas, music, work, events, thoughts, poems during the last several years has been too strong and I’m excited about the journey.

Check out a cool interview with Ian in Armenia (he liked the cleanliness!) at Oneworld: http://blog.oneworld.am/2009/05/22/jethro-tull-in-yerevan-armenia/

And some other stuff: http://www.aysor.am/en/news/2009/05/23/jethrovarch/?sw

Regarding perfection – nothing new but worth reading the excitement: http://www.panorama.am/en/culture/2009/05/23/liveconcert/

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Vazken Movsesian

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