Friday, 4 November 2016

Djivan Gasparyan - I Will Not Be Sad in This World (first rel. 1983)

Back in more relaxing, near-ambient territory today; but no electronic ambience here whatsoever, just one instrument in fact – the Armenian double-reed wood flute known as the duduk.  Played here by master of the instrument Djivan Gasparyan, backed up only by another duduk drone, 40 minutes of this stuff might on paper seem a bit monotonous, but the pure sound and hypnotic melodies draw you right in.
Original LP cover, 1983
Just the right side of unsettling to be truly mellow, these eight traditional duduk pieces were first released on the Soviet Melodiya label in 1983, and came to wider attention when Brian Eno gave the album its first international release under the ‘I Will Not Be Sad…’ title in 1989.  Having been thrust into the 80s/early 90s ‘world music’ limelight, Gasparyan toured widely and played with/influenced many musicians including Peter Gabriel, most famously on the ‘Passion’ soundtrack to Scorcese’s Last Tempation of Christ.

I Will Not Be Sad In This World

Original CD release, 1989 (picture at top is 2005 reissue)