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An Ancient Observer

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Audio CD, March 31, 2017
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Editorial Reviews

Nonesuch Records releases its second album from pianist Tigran Hamasyan, An Ancient Observer, on March 31, 2017. An Ancient Observer is the follow-up to Hamasyan's label debut, Mockroot, of which the Guardian said, "A phenomenal piano player, an irrepressible entertainer, a promising experimenter with hi-tech gizmology and a creative world-music composer. Mockroot plays vivaciously to all those strengths." The musician says of his new solo recording, which features ten new compositions: "These songs are musical observations about the world we live in now, and the weight of history we carry with us." Hamasyan will tour the US in February and March, then Europe in the spring; see below for the currently announced dates.

An Ancient Observer's songs—two of which are based on Armenian melodies—were written over the last four years. Some of the pieces are through-composed and completely written out, while others are composed with ample space for Hamasyan to improvise. Many include vocals layered into the mix. As with most of his compositions, Hamasyan cites a wide range of influences, from Baroque dance to hip-hop, with pedals connected to a synthesizer on a few tracks—while the sounds of his native country also are present, as always.

Hamasyan has returned to Armenia, where his daily life inspired these new pieces: "I gaze out of my window and see the biblical mountain Ararat with perpetual snow on its peak, with electrical towers with wires in the foreground cutting the picture, and satellite dishes melted onto old and modern houses—ancestral smoke coming out of their chimneys—and birds hovering above the trees along with occasional airplane trails in the vast sky. It is a dialogue, this interaction of God-given ancient nature with our modern human achievements," he says. "For me it is an awakening, and a beautiful feeling, to be able to observe the magnificence of this sleeping volcanic giant, which has existed for millions of years and was observed by the Ararat Valley Koura-Arax culture through to the present day citizens of the Armenian republic. I can see and observe the same birds, animals, rivers, and mountains that the craftsman of 4,000 years ago painted on a clay vessel. He was observing the same thing I observe now, and what remains is his or her beautiful work of art."

TOUR DATES

Feb 25-27 Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 1 Royal Room, Seattle, WA
Mar 3 Michelle's Pianos, Portland, OR
Mar 5 Yoshi's, Oakland, CA
Mar 8 Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
Mar 10 SubCulture, New York, NY




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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
27 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2017
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12 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2017
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Top international reviews

Jonathan Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Tigran's best yet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2017
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Rafael Pernil Bronchalo
5.0 out of 5 stars Tigran en estado puro
Reviewed in Spain on February 16, 2018
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Jhunter
5.0 out of 5 stars un album ispirato
Reviewed in Italy on June 9, 2018
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azurigel
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut
Reviewed in Germany on March 16, 2019
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Calade
5.0 out of 5 stars Le meilleur album d'Hamasyan
Reviewed in France on July 3, 2017
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2 people found this helpful
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Yuri Billones
3.0 out of 5 stars CD skips. A bit of a shame because the music is nice.
Reviewed in Canada on April 27, 2019
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Dani
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelente
Reviewed in Spain on October 19, 2017
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Vincenzo G
5.0 out of 5 stars UN DISCO CHE NON ASSOMIGLIA A NESSUN ALTRO DISCO
Reviewed in Italy on July 4, 2017
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2 people found this helpful
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Hirohiko
4.0 out of 5 stars イメージの旅に心を遊ばせることができる
Reviewed in Japan on April 27, 2017
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SIMULA DUILIO
1.0 out of 5 stars che noia!
Reviewed in Italy on December 13, 2017
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C. JP
2.0 out of 5 stars hermétique
Reviewed in France on August 2, 2017
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