‘The Sky Has Greyed’ – Komitas

‘The Sky Has Greyed’ (aka ‘Yerkinqn Ampel e’ (Երկինքն Ամպել է)) is a folk song originally arranged by Komitas as a vocal piece. It is a love song describing different scenes of the singer seeing his beloved in the cloudy weather. In the arrangement below, I have maintained the original melody and added an accompanying harmony for the piano.

Please find the arrangement with its score and recording below.

 




















‘Gorani’ – Medieval Armenian Song

‘Gorani’ is a medieval Armenian love song, centered in the village of Mush. The instrumentation and harmony added to the recording are atypical of the time period, as most instrumentation was limited to minimal percussion and harmonies were generally nonexistent. The rhythm of this song is 5/4, which is common in the Armenian, as well as in Balkan regions. In general, however, songs of this period were arhythmic, with an irregular tempo and music that was guided by the words more than by the rhythms.

Below, please find a personal arrangement of the piece with its score and recording.

 




















‘Mount Alagyaz’ – Komitas

‘Mount Alagyaz’ is a medley of two folk songs: ‘Alagyaz’ (name of mountain) and ‘Khniki Tsar’ (incense tree). It is a song describing the scenery in the daily village life with the singer’s mother, brother, the mount Alagyaz and the incense tree which grows in front of the singer’s home. Traditionally performed with a choir, this song was transformed from its original monodic form to a polyphonic version suitable for several voices.

Below, please find the score and performance this piece.

2018, UC Berkeley Armenian Choir
Directed by Marina Hovhannisyan



















‘Let there be Breeze’ – Komitas

‘Let there be Breeze’ is the title to the original songs Hov Lini & Saren Elav (Հով Լինի & Սարեն Ելավ). It is a combination of two songs describing the singer’s wish for there to be breeze in the mountains and for the loved ones to have prosperity.

This is a folk song cultivated by Komitas and later arranged for a choir. Please find the recording and scores below.




















Drinking the Toast of a Thousand Men

The words of the children endure through their childhood;
The words of wise men – lucky to touch youth.
It is not through force that prowess comes forward
And not through its gentleness that it speaks the truth.

Behold the almighty performer – the gentleman:
Time and time again he will show us how.
The toasts that we drink to his hollow existence
Seldom break a sweat on his tailored brow.

And counting the acts, we await the ending
With anticipation, we can guess the plot.
But what happens when all of the pretending Is simply the start?
Is there room for thought?

When bandits of time have bent all the arrows
And minutes pass by like seconds before,
And hours are weary, and friends are less buoyant,
And all that you look for is what washes ashore.

What happens when lovely turns into the vulgar?
Excitement begins to be drenched with regret.
And all that was beautiful, precious and holy
Is enclosed or captive, and branded with threat?

The soft silky gowns flow down my skin,
And all that I see is the young girl within.

Marina Hovhannisyan October 19, 2020

Become a Butterfly

Let love ache you,
Where there is honesty, there lies solace.
There lies comfort,
A soothing of the pain.

With the lengthy changes,
And the seamless pillars upholding consistency,
You are trapped in an illusion,
So let the pain be part of it.

Like the sun of the spring,
And the lightning of the summer,
Love — and let it ache you,
Become a butterfly, float away with heat.

Spring Song

Waves of wind have
Come, come and gone away,
Swinging right and swinging left
Through the autumn night.

Words of love have
Fallen through the open space,
Snowflakes destined for the peaks
What a winter sight!

Bring your secrets,
Bring all your honest friends,
Bring your paints and bring your notes,
Bring your summer’s theft.

Life has fallen
Into another’s hands:
Not a penny here to save,
Not a diamond left.