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Thread: Tigran Hamasyan

  1. #1

    Tigran Hamasyan

    This fellow deserves a separate thread. I discovered his music quite recently, and have been obsessed since, unable to stop listening to it. He's an amazing piano player, with a unique style - but he's also an extremely talented composer, who not only mixes genres, but effaces the lines between them, trying his hand at anything: jazz, classical, folk, metal, ambient, progressive...and zeuhl among others. He can switch from group work, to solo piano music (who has the guts to release solo piano music in our days and sound relevant?), to Armenian folk songs, so one can never be sure what he's going to hear when he plays one of his records.

    Red Hail and Mockroot are masterpieces for me, and of particular interest for the progressive-fusion crowds. Shadow Theater and the solo piano Ancient Observer are also terrific. I was checking Gnosis and he gets so few ratings, that I was wondering if people here know about him or not. To me he is a genuine genius, one of the very few operating in our times. What does PE think of him?



    jawdropping stuff



    The metal riff coming in the middle of the song is like something that was waiting for Tigran to discover. Others have done it before, but not so unpretentiously and organically. Tigran was 20 years old when this thing was released!
    Last edited by Zappathustra; 1 Week Ago at 06:32 PM.

  2. #2
    I have Red Hail. It's pretty good. I like the more rock/fusion stuff on the album. The other stuff is OK, but I don't think it all goes together very well, it makes for a very uneven listen, imo. I almost wish he'd segregate his releases into different types so they were more consistent. It just feels like he's trying to squeeze too many approaches into a single release and that very few are going to dig such a wide variation in approaches.

    I sampled Mockroot, but it didn't do much for me. Maybe I'll listen again, but it was just too all over the place. He has a new one out, and I sampled some of that. What I heard was good, but I'm gun-shy now, I hate to get a record and wind up disappointed with half of it.

    Bill

  3. #3
    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    yeah, among the more recent jazz-rock artists, he's 1 of my favorites.

  4. #4
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    This fellow deserves a separate thread. I discovered his music quite recently, and have been obsessed since, unable to stop listening to it. He's an amazing piano player, with a unique style - but he's also an extremely talented composer, who not only mixes genres, but effaces the lines between them, trying his hand at anything: jazz, classical, folk, metal, ambient, progressive...and zeuhl among others. He can switch from group work, to solo piano music (who has the guts to release solo piano music in our days and sound relevant?), to Armenian folk songs, so one can never be sure what he's going to hear when he plays one of his records.
    I suppose that's cool you hear all those styles, to me its just jazz (not that there's anything wrong with it, I just do think he's reinventing the wheel...)

  5. #5
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Red Hail and Mockroot are masterpieces for me, and of particular interest for the progressive-fusion crowds. Shadow Theater and the solo piano Ancient Observer are also terrific. I was checking Gnosis and he gets so few ratings, that I was wondering if people here know about him or not. To me he is a genuine genius, one of the very few operating in our times. What does PE think of him?
    Those are definitely the two albums that progheads should try first when approaching Hamasyan's music. Mockroot has even some Zeuhl overtones,. I have no idea if it's on intent or not, but since Tigran lives in France and is part of the jazz scene, he's likely to have heard of Magma and Vander's music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I sampled Mockroot, but it didn't do much for me. Maybe I'll listen again, but it was just too all over the place. He has a new one out, and I sampled some of that. What I heard was good, but I'm gun-shy now, I hate to get a record and wind up disappointed with half of it.
    Hey Bill... Give Mockroot another try, because it's really wiorth it, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    yeah, among the more recent jazz-rock artists, he's 1 of my favorites.
    Well TBH, ever since hitting it big (relatively speaking) with Mockroot, his new albums have been a big disappointment for me. He went to ECM and other labels but concentrated on folk/sacred Armenian music. I kind of lost interest and track of his discography in the last years.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Hey Bill... Give Mockroot another try, because it's really wiorth it, IMHO.
    OK, just had a listen. There are four-and-a-half songs I like on this record, Double-Faced, Entertain Me, To Negate, The Grid, and half of Out of the Grid (which falls off a cliff at the five minute mark). Those are the songs that have a bit more of a fusion edge, and that more angular approach. The rest of the album seems to be dreamy piano music with operatic scatting of some melodies that gets tedious and frankly a bit boring for me. There's some of that on Red Hail too, but that record seems a bit better balanced.

    Mockroot is about 60 minutes long, and I enjoy about 25 minutes worth of it. I think you really have to be a fan of that more dreamy/atmospheric stuff to enjoy this album, and a lot of what I've heard of his other records. If you are, that's great. He's obviously a fine player and he deservedly has a fanbase. But I'm not that into jazz overall unless it has some pretty clear rock elements, and I'm not into dreamy/atmospheric stuff at all, unless it's small doses used for contrast.

    There are two samples from his new one on Bandcamp. They are both killer, but you can't sample the rest of the album, so I'm holding off on pre-ordering. If he made another record that was predominately in the jazz-rock vein like Red Hail or those two sample tracks, I'd grab it in a heartbeat. But his other stuff just doesn't have the same appeal for me. So it goes.

    Bill

  7. #7
    Greetings,

    We've been huge Tigran fans for years and have been fortunate enough to catch two of his live shows in NYC (the first in trio format and the second solo). I think we've managed to buy all his albums (though later in hi-res download form) with the exception of Red Hail and World Passion--and I hope they become available again in some reasonable form for purchase. Shadow Theater is my personal favorite, but all have great moments and are worth owning (or at least checking out), IMO.

    This was the tune that immediately won me over and is still my favorite:



    There's also a cool live version of the tune (though I prefer the studio arrangement):



    Tigran has also influences a large number of younger progressive-oriented musicians.

    Cheers,


    Alan

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    I suppose that's cool you hear all those styles, to me its just jazz (not that there's anything wrong with it, I just do think he's reinventing the wheel...)
    There is definitely a strong jazz background, but I wouldn't classify him as a jazz musician. His range is far wider, and his solo piano music is closer to French composers like Satie and Debussy than anything jazz. Of course improvisation is a cornerstone of his musical vision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Well TBH, ever since hitting it big (relatively speaking) with Mockroot, his new albums have been a big disappointment for me. He went to ECM and other labels but concentrated on folk/sacred Armenian music. I kind of lost interest and track of his discography in the last years.
    He hasn't done anything like Mockroot in the last 5 years. Atmospheres is completely indifferent to me, but Ancient Observer is excellent, although solo piano music is not the easiest to draw one's attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    ... it makes for a very uneven listen, imo. l
    Yes, fair enough. These were also my initial thoughts - and his work can be hit-or-miss many times. But when it hits, it hits right center. To my eyes, he is still an artist searching for his voice, and I admire his continuous will for exploration and expansion of his musical language.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdventAlan View Post
    This was the tune that immediately won me over and is still my favorite:


    I love this too. The piano parts in the middle of the song are outstanding, this guy plays the piano like an electric guitar, producing the heaviness and rawness that only an electric instrument should give. Fantastic!

  9. #9
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Hiromi should listen to Tigran...

  10. #10
    Member Marco's Avatar
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    The two new singles are great (a return to Mockroot's djent/jazz). New Maps especially.

    bass player and singer in an occult heavy prog band called Papangu. Sung entirely in Portuguese.
    https://papangu.bandcamp.com/

  11. #11
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Oooohhh!!!!....

    Fuck , yeaaaaaahhh!!!.... joieintense.gif

    here's the other one

    Last edited by Trane; 6 Days Ago at 05:28 PM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    ^^^^
    Oooohhh!!!!....

    Fuck , yeaaaaaahhh!!!.... joieintense.gif
    Yeah, this is what I've been saying. If the rest of the album is this good, I'm there. But I have my doubts, so I'm waiting to hear more.

    Bill

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