Haig Papazian, Lebanon and USAWarscapes Corona Notebooks April 11, 2020
Variation on cranes migrating elsewhere.
Last week I picked up my violin for the first time in a month, and played music for the world outside my bedroom window; for my neighbours, friends, and strangers at the park.
When grief and anxiety render words inadequate in times of uncertainty, music offers a space to seek refuge, mourn, reflect, and find hope. This home recording is an interpretation from memory of an early modern Armenian folk song titled "Groong" [Crane]. The song is about a dislocated wanderer, who hopes a white crane passing overhead can help him find home. It’s probably one of the earliest pieces of music I remember from my childhood. A song of comfort from my bedroom in Brooklyn, a Variation on cranes migrating elsewhere.
Haig Papazian is a Lebanese Armenian musician, architect, and visual artist. He is a founding member and violinist of Mashrou Leila. An architect by training, Papazian has also participated in the inaugural edition of the Home Workspace program, Ashkal Alwan by Lebanese association for contemporary art (2011). His visual work explores the intersection between city-making, cultural productions and undocumented historical narratives. Papazian is lead violinist for Mashrou Leila, Beirut-based indie pop band whose electro-pop anthems about political freedoms, race, and modern Arabic identity have challenged the status quo of the Middle-Eastern music industry. The band has self-released four albums to date and their most recent Ibn El Leil (2015) brilliantly reimagines the vibrant sound of contemporary Beirut with guitars, drum machines, samples, razor-sharp violins. They have performed at sold out venues and festivals across the Arab region, Europe, and North America.