Duduk Electronica

Duduk Electronica merges the Armenian duduk woodwind instrument playing with traditional Armenian dance and remixes it into a contemporary art form.

About The Project

The roots of Duduk Electronica goes back to 2014 while preparing for a large scale art installation for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The intention was to evoke dynamics of personal and collective transformational healing by creating a portal of ascension in the exhibition space using various mediums.

Music and dance are intrinsic to Armenian culture and heritage so I collaborated with the renowned Ani Dance Company who suggested two of their finest dancers, Mariam Balian and Arthur Aleksanyan. They were not only highly skilled in traditional Armenian dance but were also creatively fluid.  They were able to improvise a new dance creation expressing a kind of energetic liberation, of masculine and feminine energy ascending to the heavens. The movements felt like two angelic doves in a sacred courting ritual.

One component of these video recordings would be used for the 100 Year Journey art installation and the rest of the footage would be archived until now, awakened for April 24th 2021 as a symbolic gesture of the evolving transformation.

In parallel, leading up to this moment would be the development of a sonic project entitled Highland Revolution,  A double CD of music created entirely by improvisation. What makes this recording so special is that it was created with master Armenian folk woodwind musician Norik Manukian (my duduk teacher) who is accompanied by contemporary rock and roll instruments played by Michael Vest, John Volaitis, Nico Borromeo, Hal Cragin and I. This musical collaboration is completely unique, a sonic journey of courage, beauty and liberation.

The traditional duduk song played by Norik Manoukian in this video is called “vardani mor voghb”. It is the final track of Highland Revolution and would be remixed by Nico Borromeo into this manifested sound form. Thus Duduk Electronica becomes an audio visual expression depicting the ancient Armenian spirit ascending.

Dancer: Mariam Balian

Dancer: Arthur Aleksanyan