Areni Agbabian is a songwriter, formally trained pianist, improvising vocalist, folk singer, and recording artist. She has worked in new opera (most notably Michael Gordon's What to Wear directed by Richard Foreman), dance, contemporary jazz, new music, electro/ambient music, and multi-media performance. Since 2009, she has been a member of Tigran Hamasyan's quintet and appeared on several recordings, among them Aratta Rebirth (2011). Agbabian has also appeared on Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined's Eat the Air, Jose Gurria's Gurrisonic Orchestra's Three Kids Music, and with drummer/composer Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra on the acclaimed Ocean of Vows. In 2014, she issued her independently released debut album, Kissy. Two years later, she signed to ECM. Agbabian was born in Santa Monica. According to her mother, she began humming original melodies at 11 months, and by age four was hitting xylophones and drums, making new melodies and rhythms. She also began singing folk songs and rhymes with her aunt, a trained opera singer and Armenian music specialist, as well as her mother, a storyteller and Armenian folklorist. The two women imprinted on Agbabian the Armenian language that would lay the first bricks on the road of the musical journey she continues today. At age seven, she began a formal study of the classical piano; she also did formal study for voice. Agbabian sang in many choirs performing Armenian sacred, Bulgarian folk, and American music, and began a professional musicians' course in traditional Armenian folklore and music. By age 27, she had quit studying piano to begin integrating her various disciplines into original music -- delivering improvisations of voice and piano, both solo and with other musicians. In 2008, she relocated to New York City, where she continued her explorations of voice, piano, and creative music with leading musicians in the city's experimental and jazz communities (Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Tony Malaby, and Connie Crothers, among many more). In 2009, she joined the Tigran Quintet; a contemporary jazz/rock band that included saxophonist Ben Wendel, drummer Nate Wood, and bassist Sam Minaie as well as Hamasyan on piano. That quintet has recorded and toured extensively across France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Armenia, and in California. In 2014, Agbabian self-released her full-length debut Kissy, on which she performed all instruments and voices. In 2015 and 2016, she received study grants from the Gulbenkian Foundation to travel to France. While there, she studied with Aram Kerovpyan, a mastersinger of Armenian liturgical chant, and his wife Virginia Kerovpyan. After her travels, she relocated to Los Angeles. ECM label boss Manfred Eicher was made aware of her debut album through Hamasyan, and signed her. The pair, along with percussionist Nicolas Stocker (Nik Bartsch's Ronin) entered a Lugano studio in late 2016, and completed a collection of radically reinterpreted sacred hymns, a folk melody transcribed by Komitas, and a host of Agbabian's original compositions. The finished set was issued by ECM as Bloom in the winter of 2019. ~Thom Jurek
4 albums triés par Plus distingués
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