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Nune:a class act all the way!

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 07:33 PM

I just bought a cd by Nune(yes she is Hayastansi, but there are always exceptions to the rule!) wow! vordeghes ele sirun akhchikus? I have already listened to every song on the cd dozens of times and I am still not tired! The musicians are also top notch, everything about the album makes me proud to be an Armenian. I am a bit baffled though by the fourth song(its the "World" album) either my Armenian is worse than I already suspect and she is singing in some dialect I am unaware of, or else she is not singing in Armenian. Is it, dare I say Azeri? But it doesn't really sound that either. The song's title, the best I can make from my kindergarten ability to read Armenian is "Hala, hala" which I believe is Arabic, and we use it in farsi as well. It actually seems like she is singing in different languages at times, maybe Kurdish also? Berj, vordeghes? Badaskhan thoor inzi!

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 08:45 PM

Hi Farsi,
Go to http://www.mousaler.com/songbook/
It has Nune's "Hala,hala" lyrics in Dance Songs section, "Musa leran barerg".
The song is in Musaler dialect with some mixture of Arabic and Kurdish.
I love Nune!!! I think at present she is the one who represents the real Armenian music.

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 10:12 PM

Berj(Armen?) jan,

I knew she had some Kurdish in that song, but then listening to it again I could hear some Armenian. The Arabic surprises me, although of course "hala" is Arabic, we also use it in Farsi. Interesting, so it is a dialect from Musa Dagh? I didn't think she would dare sing in Azeri, as I am sure she would be tar and feathered for doing so!

As for the lyrics, sorry I am barely at the kindergarten level now with my Armenian reading. I write the alphabet over and over, try to decode some basic words, etc. Maybe in a year!

If there is more Hayastansi singers like her, tell me and I will publically repent of my criticism of Hayastansi pop!

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 10:55 PM

Nune has a nice voice and performs our traditional songs well. But her image ****s. Talk about being a "zargatsats gyughatsi." She has no class !!!

Farsi: get Sona's CD - "Katil" or the CD called "AYO" where Alla Levonyan has 2 songs. She is awesome.

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Posted 22 July 2000 - 12:52 AM

Sulamik jan,
Isn't it nice that just in 3-4 years after the devastating energy crisis and war Armenia could produce a traditional singer like Nune. Yes, she is a bit "gyughatsi". But there will be others who will learn from her, add something and go on... She's just the first stop on Armenian Music's modern "journey".
It is the arrangement of her songs that I love so much. They combined modern beats (like the house hip-hop beat in "Ton kuga verevits" of "Ov inch giti" album) with Armenian language. I was expecting somebody to do that, but I was almost in dispear before she did that.
Have you listened to her "Pnjlik-mnjlik" in "Mer gavar@" album. I think nobody could sing it better. And her performance of "Akh, mi angam el zijeir" and Sayat-Nova's famous "Tamam ashkharh ptut eka" in "World" is classi.
I'm amazed at people who expect all our traditional singers to be high class intellectuals, ignoring the fact that the impulse of traditional music comes form the deep roots of a given etnos. In its deep roots any etnic impulse is "wild", original, sometimes even beyond the limits that the intellegentsia can accept. It is always fun to hear our intellegentsia's labelings like "gyughatsi a", "rabis a" and meet them getting crazy on marrige parties listening and dancing the same songs.

P.S.Farsi: I think that the "Berj" nickname has stuck to me so I'll continue using it. Acctually, how it feels to be a "Junior Member!" of this forum after all.

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Posted 22 July 2000 - 08:47 AM


Hima yes betke mahat lav ban asem Hayastansi masin. Gootse vor Nune gughatsi a o che, chem manum, mnak luselem irar tsevu vor yerkuma. Mnak imanumem vor shaat anush a yerkoom. Akh inch lav gelni vor amen Hayastansi yerkichner ethens elne! So far she is the first Hayastansi pop musician that is on par with an Anna Vissi, Ishtar of Alabina or Leila Fourohar (maybe she is even better!), at least that I have come across. Sulamita I will look for the singer you recommended as well. I have never criticized Hayastansi classic and folk music which is first rate and world renowned, even by such world music promoters as Peter Gabriel and David Byrne. It is the cabaret style pop music that I downgrade, and I don't think I am the only one! Also, if Nune is typical of Hayastansis girls then what am I waiting for, give me a ticket to Yerevan!

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Posted 22 July 2000 - 02:51 PM

Nune Yesayan
inchpes Berjn e ausm Bavakanin Hajeli e tesnel yeritasard Yerkchuhi vorn tekuz Hayastani iyskan djvarin paymanerum karoratsav Handes gal iyskan Hajeli Yerkerov Iyo mi kich GERO e sakayn Tarandavor / batsel e nor janaparh nor serundi yerkish yerkchuhineri hamar / yev karatsav apatsutsel vro Yerkich @ karik chuni rabiz yerkelu vorici goyatevi .

Nune Yesayan@ Yerkchuhi vorin janachum en shater@ sakan yev chen janachum .
Bolorin tveum e te nunen mi ir ujerov karoratsav anel iys / sakayn voch / yete mer Hay Yerajishtneri 10% unena Hovanavorner inchpisin Nunen uni kartsum em Hay yerashtutyun@ aveli barevok vijakum klii .
Hovanavorner@ mets der en katarum / Levon Travel > vor@ Nune yesayani Hovanavorn e, verchin tarineri enatskum tasnyan hazaravor $$$$$$$ e hatkatsrel voch miyayn Nune Yesayan yerkchuhum iyl nayev n@ra hamar yerajishtneri mi amborj xumb e hatkatsrel /mets nerdrum katarets nayev AYF /
pastoren Tarand + Hovanavor + Haykakan Yerashtutyun = Batsardzak Hajorutyun !!!

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Posted 22 July 2000 - 06:26 PM


it's interesting...i had been offered nune a lot in armo music stores, but never picked up her stuff for fear of encountering a "gextsi"..lol..

then my cousins sent me nune's stuff from armenia!!!!!...so of course, i had to listen to it..lol..

now my commentary: she has a vaguely nice voice, she has no stage presence whatsoever, but I LOVE the fact that she performs traditional armenian songs...LOVE it..

besides, my sister says I drive slower when I'm listening to her, and given my driving, that's always a good thing )

Bottom line: she'll never compare to more old school armenian lady singers, but given her current colleagues and competition, she's pretty good

another one i'd recommend: aida sargsyan.. mi kich rabiz kuricka..lol, baits lav yerker uni (but she has a lot more attitude compared to nune)

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Posted 27 July 2000 - 03:08 AM

Dynamic Duo
Nune Yesayan and Djivan Gasparyan Team Up to Push the Bounds of Traditional


Entertainers Nune Yesayan and Djivan Gasparyan need no introduction; their
first names alone warrant recognition. She sells out concerts in Armenian
communities all around the world, has four best-selling CDs, and her name is
part of the pop culture lexicon in the homeland and Diaspora (AIM May 1998).
He is known in the international music industry as the master of the duduk,
the Armenian flute, works with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Michael Brook and
Brian Eno, and has contributed to several Hollywood motion pictures and
performed with symphonies like the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He is
a favorite of "World Music" and alternative radio stations around the globe,
while she is a favorite of Armenians of all ages from all walks of life and
celebrated by Armenian broadcast and print media.
These two performers' celebrity may be an abstract concept for many, but it
can be defined by their popularity and name recognition in their respective
venues and communities. Now the two have teamed up to share a stage in the
fall and perhaps push traditional Armenian music to a new level of
international popularity. Their collaboration began last year when Nune was
asked by the Armenian government to perform with Djivan at the April 24
commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the National Opera House. "They
asked us to perform Kele Lao," says Nune, "and it turned out to be a very
moving tribute to the millions who were massacred and displaced, and it was
also an invitation to Armenians around the world to return to the homeland,
to support their homeland."
The 85th anniversary commemoration at the Opera was televised in Armenia and
across Europe, and fans quickly asked to hear more of Nune's haunting voice
set to the melodies coming from Djivan's duduk. "So I asked him to perform
with me in my concerts in the US," says Nune. "He said he couldn't imagine
what he could contribute and what he would perform. I told him the Armenian
stage needs you because you're the master, and people, our people need to
hear you perform this sacred instrument."
It didn't take any more to persuade Djivan to participate in Nune's
concerts. "Armenians love her," says Gasparyan. "I couldn't imagine a better
tour to perform for Armenians around the world. When people come to hear us,
they are going to hear pure and true Armenian melodies and songs."
The collaboration will perhaps be beneficial for both artists. While Armenian
audiences rarely hear Djivan perform for them, Nune's fans will most likely
celebrate his mastery of the 3000-year-old instrument. The Armenia 2000 tour
will begin at the Pasadena Civic Center, continue at the Saroyan Theatre in
Fresno, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and move to the East Coast
and the Lincoln Center in New York City. Additional concerts are planned for
Boston, Detroit and Washington, DC.
Djivan's return to the Armenian stage to perform with Nune will perhaps give
the master the personal satisfaction of having his own people, his own
community validate his successes in the mainstream music industry, while his
celebrity with the industry's movers and shakers will introduce Nune's
talents into new arenas and uncharted territories, giving the pair more
opportunities to become Armenia's true ambassadors of culture to the world.

Paul Chaderjian is a TV news reporter at the NBC affiliate in Fresno.

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Posted 27 July 2000 - 05:13 PM

Akh! Spasumem vor gan Los Angeles! This should be incredible.

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 03:28 PM

Farsi jan,
I was so interested in seeing if you tried the album Gayane suggested (ie. Aida Sargsyan). If so, what did you think of her?


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Posted 22 August 2000 - 12:34 PM

Did anyone catch the "horizon" interview with Nune?...I was very proud of her...lol..felt like saying "that's my girl" when she was able to fend off somewhat mocking and inappropriate questions and comments at times. She was able to conceal her "commonness" rather well, although it did come through loud and clear a couple of times.
Overall, I actually liked her persona as she chose to portray it (as opposed to liking her music, which i do). Perhaps it would be a stretch, but you could even say I'm impressed. Apri Nunen

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 02:28 PM

I think Nune does something that most previous folk type singers havenīt been able to do: reaches out to almost everybody. Thai is enough for me.

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Posted 11 September 2000 - 06:37 AM

Singing The People's Music: Nune Brings Traditional Armenian Songs
to Modern Audiences

The Boston Herald
Sept 10, 2000
by Jules Crittenden

Rare is the nightclub singer who hasn't secretly dreamed of becoming a
cultural icon. Rarer still is the one who crosses musical genres to
achieve that dream.

The story of Nune - pronounced Nu-nay - and her mission to bring
traditional Armenian songs to modern audiences begins among the old
people of Armenia and the songs they sang to her, and detours through
a violent relationship and a career singing disco covers in the
lounges of Damascus, Syria.

It has led her to the beginnings of international success, with
sold-out shows primarily before audiences of the Armenian diaspora in
America, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Syria and Iran, as well as her
native Armenia.

``I realized that by singing other people's songs, I wasn't getting
anywhere. So I decided I could do something to contribute to my
people,'' Nune told the Herald earlier this summer in Yerevan.

Next Sunday, the 30-year-old singer will perform at the Berklee
Performance Center with acclaimed musician and composer Djivan
Gasparyan, 74, whose name is probably known to few of the millions of
Americans who have heard his music. The concert will benefit Armenian

Gasparyan plays the duduk, an Armenia reed instrument that is
thousands of years old. His credits include major roles on the
soundtracks for ``Gladiator'' and ``Last Temptation of Christ.''

In a two-week tour that ends next Sunday in Boston, the two stars have
come together for the first time to bring the traditional songs,
flutes, oboes, lutes and drums of Armenia to America, with electric
guitars and modern beats.

``For years now, our songs were not being sung,'' Nune said. ``People
are forgetting our songs, and we are losing them. I wanted to bring
back the songs I heard as a child.''

Nune started singing pop tunes professionally 12 years ago, favoring
Whitney Houston covers. But she said she was drawn to the songs she
had learned from her mother and grandmother. She realized that with
the growing acceptance of traditional instruments and themes in the
world music movement, there might be a future for Armenian music. But
more importantly, she said, Armenian youths were losing touch with
their own music.

``I try to incorporate both the modern and traditional folk music, so
the younger generation, which is out of touch with traditional music,
can listen and sing the songs of their own nation instead of only
foreign pop music,'' said Nune. ``We can utilize modern rhythms in our
songs. Young people are responding.''

But Nune's life and her career were nearly destroyed six years ago
when she decided to leave music for marriage.

``I left song for a man, but he had his own history,'' Nune said.
``After a year of beating, I understood that I can't change him. I was
losing, I was being hurt. I decided to leave him.''

She was hospitalized with a broken jaw before she acted on that
decision, and ultimately had to flee to Syria and work in nightclubs,
where he couldn't find her.

``I now try to tell my friends that the first priority in love is
respect. If respect is not there, there can be no love,'' Nune said.
``Every time I remember there is new pain. On the streets I can tell,
looking into people's faces, I know who has a problem.''

Nune insists that part of her life is separate from her music and did
not influence her decision to turn to Armenia's musical roots.

The Boston performance will benefit the Armenian Nursing and
Rehabilitation Center of Jamaica Plain and the Armenian Health
Alliance, which funds a maternity clinic in the ethnic Armenian
enclave of Nagorno Karabagh. It also runs an outpatient clinic for the
chronically ill in Gyumri, Armenia.

Boston-area native Dr. Carolann Najarian, who helped organize the
benefit, said Nune's music has brought a new kind of joy to diaspora
Armenians who are more accustomed to focusing on the 1915 genocide of
an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, and the small
nation's recent history of earthquakes, war and economic ruin.

``So much of what we know about Armenia is sad,'' Najarian said.
``Nune comes on the scene and makes us glad. You want to get up and
sing with her.''

Nune and Djivan Gasparyan, Sunday Sept. 17, 4 p.m. at the Berklee
Performance Center. Tickets: $20-$60. Call (617) 931-2000.

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 10:21 AM

I caught the Nune concert last weekend and can say I was pretty impressed. She did a wonderful job and for not being a die hard Nune fan I really did enjoy it. I was a little disappointed in not hearing Djivan a little more. I think the show was a little misrepresented. It should have said "Guest appearance" by Djivan Gasparyan. Too bad I really wanted to hear more from him. Other than that it was a pretty nice event. Whoever was doing the lights should be canned. One spotlight that kept jumping between Nune and the other Duduk player. I don't know his name but he was impressive in his ability with the various wind instruments.

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Posted 14 September 2000 - 02:20 PM

Dear Steve,
I'm glad you enjoyed Nune and Djivan Gasparian. Nune's duduk player is called Norayr Kardashian. He's amazing.

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 10:55 AM

I caught the concert as well. I have to say I enjoyed the show for the most part. Major credit goes to Nune (or the organizers) for putting together a team of performers and treating the concert goers to a "concert" experience. I say this mostly because so many armenian performers go it solo and don't bother to include dance acts, etc.

I found Nune's treatment of Djivan disrespectful. She used the appeal of his name and his talent and did not give him the credit ( or show time) he deserved. After all, on the whole, he's a much "bigger" artist than she is. Clever girl, that Nune. Used his name shamelessly.

Lol..I have to say a word or two about the teenage dancers. What, in god's name, was that???? I mean they could have at least been dressed properly. I don't think that part of the show sat well with our parents' generation, which comprised a significant number of those present. Heck, it didn't even sit well with me.

She needs an artistic director, Nune does. Or if she has one, she needs a better one. It was well done, but it could have been exceptional. The potential was there, the creativity was lacking. (for example, her entrance was mediocre at best. I would have had the dancers on stage, dancing to one of her faster rhythms like "hala-hala" or "xorotik" or something, then she would start singing, at first you'd hear only her voice as she would be cleverly hidden behind the dancers...then the dancers would step aside with a loud "nune!!" and there she would be, in all her glory...lol..anyway, just a thought...maybe she should hire me..lol)

so much for that..


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Posted 19 September 2000 - 12:09 PM


We had no dancers at the Fresno show.

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Posted 20 September 2000 - 03:59 PM

oh...lol...that's interesting...they did in l.a. (not to worry, they weren't too good anyway, so you didn't miss much)

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Posted 20 September 2000 - 04:11 PM

We wondered if we were shorted on Djivan's playing time, but it appears that he didn't play too long anywhere.

Too bad, this was really misrepresented.

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