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Savall: Esprit d’Armenie (24/88 FLAC)

Savall: Esprit d'Armenie (24bit/88kHz, FLAC)

Savall: Esprit d’Armenie (24bit/88kHz, FLAC)

Performer: Georgi Minassyan, Haig Sarikouyoumdjian, Gaguik Mouradian, Armen Badalyan
Orchestra: Ensemble Hespèrion XXI
Conductor: Jordi Savall
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Alia Vox
Size: 1.29 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Menk kadj tohmi
02. Akna krunk
03. Kani vur djan im
04. Chant et danse
05. O’h intsh anush
06. Matshkal
07. Dun en glkhen
08. Garun a
09. Chants de mariage
10. Al aylukhs
11. Plainte: en sarer
12. Azat astvatsn & Ter kedzo
13. Sirt imsasani
14. Hayastan yerkir
15. Hey djan
16. Hov arek
17. Lamento: Sevmut amper
18. Alagyeaz & Khnki tsar

Amazing music I never new existed (or “Spotify For the Win!”)

As a reference point to readers, I like so many kinds of music that I couldn’t list them here, but I will say this so you’ll know where I’m coming from: Beck, John Coltrane, Blind Willie McTell, Led Zeppelin, Corelli, Bill Evans, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Daft Punk, Philip Glass, Queens of the Stone Age, Abby Lincoln, The National, Tom Waits, J.S. Bach, Johnny Cash, William Shatner (OK, not really William Shatner, but he does to an amazing cover of Pulp’s “Common People” with Joe Jackson, and you have to admit, he has a certain kind of mojo that nobody else in the world has, and I respect him for that.) So I’m not an ancient music junkie. I just love… sounds.

It had to be the interesting colorful cover art that drew me to it, or perhaps simply that it was showing up on my “discover page” on Spotify with a recommendation that if I listened to *some other album”, then I might like Esprit d’Armenie. I tend towards pre-classical, baroque and earlier in my classical preferences, so I gave it a listen.

I didn’t like it; I completely loved it.

I don’t know how to give this a proper review. I just love music that hits that spot in me were it makes me feel different in some way (Happy, mellow, surprised, inspired, etc). This one makes me feel like I’m transported to another time in another place, where life was simpler, quieter, and there was joy and sadness. The ancient instruments on this album sound amazing and are not the typical instruments played in the typical styles of music that I listen to when listening to more popular baroque and pre-classical (violins, cellos, etc). Some of the strings and winds on this are completely haunting. The drums deep and clear. The songs have a sadness to them, though I don’t know if they are meant to be sad. They seem very contemplative about something; perhaps nature? loss? the moon? suffering? winter?

It went into my “Classical” playlist, and my “Focus” playlist which has music that I find works well when I need to get work done. Do I feel guilty using Spotify to listen to music with a lot of the negative press that has been going around suggesting that artists are getting hurt by Spotify and they make pennies for every 100,000 listens? No, and I’ll tell you why below.

I don’t swim in circles with music fans like me, unfortunately. Most of them are more likely to know who is in the running on American Idol and so that I can keep my sanity, I don’t talk music with them. Except one friend of mine whose taste in music overlaps with mine to some extent.

I did a “share” with him of this album on Spotify. About a week later he told me he bought the CD he liked it so much. I just bought the CD. Chalk that up as two wins for the artists, and they can thank Spotify. I know Thom Yorke and others are highly critical of Spotify, and I buy Thom’s music too. But techdirt has some myth dispelling articles on spotify that you might want to check out. Summary: Online streaming actually doesn’t pay artists, it pays labels and labels are greedy, and artists are benefiting from online streaming in other ways. I’m living proof.

For a person with a limited budget, I don’t have money to gamble on CD’s that I haven’t heard, or heard one song only to buy the CD to find out that none of the other tracks appeal to me. Then I sell it at a loss on the used market.

So I pay a monthly fee to Spotify to hear albums commercial free, via streaming, really appreciate having the opportunity to listen to a whole album through a few times, to decide if it’s worthy to be in my collection.

Armenian Spirit makes the cut… by a wide margin. Love music like this. Thank you to the musicians who work so hard to perfect their craft and record these amazing sounds, and thank you to the innovators at Spotify and in the music industry who help me to find music that is fascinating and makes me happy. It’s up to the individual to support their favorite artists and I highly recommend that you subscribe to Spotify or similar service, get introduced to new music and then go out and buy it, go to the concerts, buy shirts, fill up the musicians tip jars and share good music with your friends.

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