AWIL 284 - Arsen Petrosyan & Jenny Bliss Thu, 2019-01-17 14:48

Arsen Petrosyan & Jenny Bliss synchronise as one outstanding voice for early music and ancient instruments, yet they live oceans apart.

Child prodigies turned virtuosos, they met on Facebook and co-opted Skype as a rehearsal studio linking Charentsavan with Glastonbury. Jenny originally hails from Birmingham, teaching herself to play recorder & read music from the age of six, the same age that Arsen first picked up a Shvi pipe, before graduating to the duduk, Armenia’s iconic instrument.

London 2019 is the site for Jenny & Arsen’s first actual meeting and we were privileged to host their unique collaboration of haunting Armenian melodies, Elizabethan songs & sonatas built around the duduk, Baroque violin, and resonant viola de gamba, on AWIL just a few hours before their Tuned In London concert.

‘’It’s the silence in music which is important’’ says Petrosyan, after six days in the UK’s capital spent completely un-silently!

Instead of sight-seeing in the capital he’s been gigging with Nykko Gregoire, vocalist Lori Secanska, and of course Jenny. She’s not just amazing as a musician and composer, but also in her way of being. There’s a Sandy Shaw–like  innocence about her as we found out whilst walking with her BAREFOOT through London, on the Tube & trains, during rush hour, and, on a rainy day. For her the natural world is her greatest inspiration and she appreciates early music from the 10thcentury onwards, ancient instruments, not needing mics, amplification or EFX. Jenny is usually performing with her lute/double-bass/tabla trio, but like everyone else in London at the moment, is making the very most of Arsen while he he’s here on his first and fleeting UK trip.

He returns in February for a Syrian music collaboration and if you fancy working with him join the queue quickly!

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