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The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble

Levon Eskenian artistic director – Avag Margaryan blul – Armen Ayvazyan kamancheh – Meri Vardanyan kanon – Vladimir Papikyan santur – Davit Avagyan tar, saz – Mesrop Khalatyan dap, dohol

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments EnsembleLevon Eskenian artistic director – Emmanuel Hovhannisyan duduk – Armen Ayvazyan kamancheh – Mesrop Khalatyan dap, dohol

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments EnsembleAram Nikoghosyan oud – Davit Avagyan tar, saz

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments EnsembleLevon Eskenian artistic director – Emmanuel Hovhannisyan duduk – Avag Margaryan blul – Armen Ayvazyan kamancheh – Aram Nikoghosyan oud – Meri Vardanyan kanon – Vladimir Papikyan santur – Davit Avagyan tar, saz – Mesrop Khalatyan dap, dohol – Norayr Gapoyan duduk


The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble was founded in 2008 by the Armenian musician Levon Eskenian in order to revive the music of the Greek-Armenian philosopher, writer, and composer Georges I Gurdjieff (1877-1949). In the course of his many travels around the world in search of truth, Gurdjieff came into contact with countless different traditions of folk and sacred music, rituals, and dances. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of these traditions, he composed some 300 works, which he sang to his pupil the Russian composer and pianist Thomas de Hartmann. Gurdjieff's music is closely bound up with his ideas. But what were those ideas? If humanity wants to be truly human, it must free itself from existing conceptions. It must "wake up" and unite all its vital forces in order to create harmony among them and between them and the cosmic order.

Today, the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble sets out to return to the musical traditions that Gurdjieff came into contact with. The pieces that Eskenian has selected have their roots in Armenian, Greek, Arab, Assyrian, and Caucasian folk and sacred music. His arrangements, written for traditional instruments, are intended to preserve the authenticity of Gurdjieff's music. When the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble released a CD of the Music of Georges I Gurdjieff on the ECM label in 2011, the reaction was so positive that they immediately undertook a world tour. The magical moments that the ensemble succeeds in creating form a kind of sound bridge across the centuries and between nations.

We should also mention an earlier CD on ECM, GI Gurdjieff: Sacred Hymns (1980), with a number of the master's pieces performed by Keith Jarrett. A year prior to that, Peter Brook had brought out a film, Meetings with Remarkable Men, based on Gurdjieff's splendid, partly autobiographical, book of the same name, in which music is one of the protagonists.

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