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Best of 2024

The Gurdjieff Ensemble, Levon Eskenian

Zartir (LP)

Label: ECM Records

Format: LP

Genre: Folk

In stock


The third album from Levon Eskenian’s remarkable ensemble is its most adventurous to date. As well as reclaiming the music of esoteric teacher G. I. Gurdjieff for folk instrumentation, Zartir situates Gurdjieff in a tradition of Armenian bards and troubadours including Ashugh Jivani, Baghdasar Tbir and the legendary Sayat-Nova. In parallel, an emphasis on pieces for sacred dance reaches its apex in The Great Prayer, an entrancing collaboration between the Gurdjieff Ensemble and the National Chamber Choir of Armenia, which draws upon ritual music of multiple faiths. Arranger Eskenian says, “I believe The Great Prayer is more than a mere ‘composition’. It is one of the most profound and transformative pieces I have encountered in Gurdjieff’s work.” Zartir was recorded in Yerevan in 2021 and mixed and completed in Munich in November 2022 by Manfred Eicher and Levon Eskenian.

Cat. number: ECM 2788, 551 5436
Year: 2023
1: 2 duduks, bass duduk, 2 pkus, kamancha, blul, kanon, oud, tar, santur, tmbuk, triangle, bells 2: kanon, tar, santur, oud, duduk, dap 3: kanon, oud, blul, dap 4: 3 duduks, bass duduk, blul, dap, tmbuk, cymbal 5: duduk, bass duduk, blul, kamancha, kanon, oud, santur, tar, tmbuk, triangle 6: voice, kamancha, tar, duduk 7: voice, kamancha, tar, 2 duduks, oud, dap 8: duduk, tar, santur, dap 9: 2 duduks, bass duduk, oud, santur 10: kanon, oud, blul, dap, tombak 11: voice, kamancha, blul, 2 duduks, tar, santur, kanon, oud, dap 12: blul, kanon, santur, oud, dap, tombak, tmbuk 13: voice, duduk, bass duduk, blul, kamancha, tar, santur, oud 14: 2 duduks, bass duduk, blul, kamancha, tar, kanon, oud, tmbuk, singing bowls, bur var, cymbal, mixed choir Georges I. Gurdjieff's music is arranged from Thomas de Hartmann's piano transcriptions and symphonic orchestral versions. Recorded December 2021 Radio Recording Studio Yerevan Mixed November 2022 by [...], [...], [...] and [...] (engineers) at Bavaria Musikstudios Munich Cover Photo: Still from Sergei Parajanov's film 'The Color of Pomegranates'. Liner photos: [...], [...], [...] (19), Courtesy of RAA (3), Courtesy of Charents Museum of Literature and Arts (4) Cover photo provided by courtesy of the National Cinema Center of Armenia. Supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Susanne Hinrichs, and Peter Klein. An ECM Production ℗ © 2023 ECM Records GmbH, München (on O-card back; on tray card) ℗ © 2023 ECM Records GmbH (in booklet) ℗ 2023 ECM Records GmbH (on disc) Printed in Germany