April, 2011

...now browsing by month


Duduk and guitar

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Armen Grigoryan, one of Armenia’s contemporary masters of the duduk, has been kind enough to take one of my guitar compositions (recorded a decade ago on Lowden’s one-of-a-kind S25J nylon string jazz guitar) and record a duduk solo over the guitar.



He has done this with a different ear for the music than most Western European players would use; the duduk does not follow the tune, but floats over the tune with a motif entirely of its own, like two songs being sung together, or a countermelody. The guitar never deviates from a conventional Dm-based theme with a brief excursion to the major (which Armen pushes into the background as it’s the least sympathetic passage to the soulful, plaintive sound of the duduk). The Armenian double-reed woodwind lives in a world of free pitch and expression, as flexible as the human voice or a violin.

– David