Saturday, May 4, 2013
HANK MARDIGIAN SEXTET FEATURING GEORGE MGRDICHIAN ON THE OUD - ORIENTAL DELIGHT
Here's the liner notes:
ORIENTAL DELIGHT is the music of Asia Minor expressing
its sad and joyous moods with exotic and mystic sounds.
This music is truly an expression of Armenia—its people,
culture, history, and not to be overlooked, their feeling.
They knew of no superficial moods or ways of life. There
was only one way to do things—the right way—the full
way. The music is intoxicating because it is played from
the heart with all its warmth and color. The men smoked
their favorite nargula (water pipe), while the women with
veils and necklaces of gold pieces and coins danced to
the exotic and captivating age-old melodies of never-
to-be-forgotten oriental sounds.
Massacres, tortures, and enslavements are blended with
much joy in the music of these people, who, for many
centuries knew only of peace and happiness. History
tells us of the greatness of its early kings, people, and
nation. All of its early music was joyful and told only
of happiness. Then, sadness blanketed the nation
and its people. And, thus, the reason for the moods
of Oriental Delight.
Hank Mardigian's Sextet has, since early childhood, lived
and played oriental music. In the eight, short years that
the six gifted musicians have been playing together, the
band has become one of America's most popular and
well-known Armenian bands of today.
Hank Mardigian, in his playing of the mandolin and the alto
saxophone, has captured the style and authenticity of the
ancient music of Asia Minor. The popularity of the band
is due to his leadership, arrangements, and inspiration.
The oud, a large hand-carved pot-bellied long-necked
mandolin-type string instrument, is the most important
in oriental music. George Mgrdichian, without question,
is considered one of the best oud players in America
and is a perfectionist. He plays very fereely, with genuine
feeling, and his interpretations of the oud have won wide
recognition for him. He is such an artist that when he plays,
the music "lives," and makes you wonder when the oud
will start "talking."
Roupen Gureghian, the youngest member of the band, plays
the clarinet with feeling, and not from notes. The music moves
him so, that the result is a distinctive style of playing.
The rhythm section, which is most important to an oriental
band, has Berge Jehanian playing the castanets for added
flavor. The section is paced by Roger Mgrdichian, who plays
the treble dumbeg, an hour-glass-shaped drum which is
open on one end, with a unique style. George Terkanian
plays the bass dumbeg, which stands thirty inches high
and he excels as "the whistler" in "Come My Sweet One."
Oriental music knows no nationality or language barrier
and Oriental Delight, from the start, will inspire you to
join hands in the barr (dance), or merely sit back, relax,
and enjoy the age-old moods of that distant Middle East.