The Naghash Ensemble at La Soufflerie
Written by Elina Deschere on 20 novembre 2019
This Tuesday evening in Rezé on the outskirts of Nantes at La Soufflerie, Euradio went to see the sold-out show of The Naghash ensemble, a 7 piece contemporary classical folk group from Armenia.
The Naghash Ensemble is the brain-child of Armenian-American John Hodian who, after months of scouring libraries for inspiration, finally found what he was looking for. That being the sacred texts of the poet and priest Mktrich Naghash of Armenia. He decided to put the words to music after discovering the voice of Hasmik Baghdasaryan in a Garni temple near Yerevan, who is now a member of the group.
The other members include: Tatevik Movsesyan (soprano), Arpine Ter-Petrosyan (alto), Tigran Hovhannisyan (dhol, traditional percussion), Aram Nikoghosyan (oud, traditional guitar), Emmanuel Hovhannisyan (duduk, a traditional wooden flute) and John himself on piano and composing.
A show that times felt somewhat hypnotic, transported the crowd through the words of Naghash and the melodies of the group marrying topics such as spirituality and ‘ghareeb’ (exile).
Following the sold-out performance, our presenters, Katherine Wood and Bella Jewell, took to the stage for a Q&A between the crowd and the group. To get a flavour of what was discussed, you can listen to the below interview between John Hodian and Lucie Gash, music assistant, in which John delves into the story behind The Naghash ensemble.