Art in the Time of Corona
Creative Armenia Network members reflect on life and creation in quarantine.
May 21, 2020 | by Creative Armenia
Actors without stages, musicians without concerts, artists without audiences…. COVID-19 has forced many industries to change their methods. Art is no exception. But while it has imposed notable limitations it hasn’t stopped artists from creating. Here is how our Network Members used their time to create, celebrate, and explore new avenues.
1. Arik Grigoryan worked with limitations
Since the strike of COVID-19, the composer, founder of Vishup Ensemble, and member of The Bambir, Arik Grigoryan has spent his time working on several projects. The former Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellow produced a song based on Hovhannes Tumanyan's Jesus in the Desert poems.
Experimenting with the new formats, together with TmbaTa Orchestra, the musician also released a mobile recording of Komitas’ The Ring, mixing the sound from his home. The music video is a compilation of footages recorded on the frontal cameras, reminiscent of extremely familiar Zoom calls.
Together with The Bambir, Arik also released a single 2 Kes from their upcoming album Gzhi Harsaniq. The band also performed at the live concert organized by Eworld Kids Foundations.
2. Ripsime Babadjanian turned to Instagram
While in quarantine, an artist and musician Ripsime Babadjanian released a single Kind > Cruel under the name of Ripsy May. The cosmic pop track even premiered on BBC radio, lightening up the mood for many in these challenging times.
Ripsime also used the lockdown to work on her art and produce new music. She frequently posts her expressive artworks on Instagram and will soon release another single. The new track titled Mrs. Paprika is produced in collaboration with another female artist and will see light in the upcoming weeks.
Give a listen to her Kind > Cruel and keep up with Ripsime’s music, by following her on Spotify.
3. Gohar Sargsyan celebrated her achievements
With the quarantine, artist Gohar Sargsyan witnessed her Art on Silk being spotlighted by Feroce Magazine.
It is not the first victory for her one-of-a-kind handmade scarfs, created by the artists — just a little earlier in February, her work appeared in Vogue.
Every scarf is just as much a fashion statement as much as its arts. With her works, Gohar has been pushing the boundaries between fashion and art, intertwining them in beautiful pieces you can both wear around your neck and hang on the wall.
4. Sandra Arslanian released soulful music
Sandra Arslanian’s new album Put a Gun/Commotion feels more timely than ever. It is her second album under the name of Sandmoon, full of intense and gripping songs that do not fit into one genre. The songs tastefully mix dream pop, indie rock, folk, blues, and oriental tunes.
Shot on humanless streets of Paris, Empty hits particularly strong. The song is filled with longing and loneliness that make it feel like a soundtrack to the pandemic. Recorded before the quarantine, one cannot help but wonder if Sandra predicted the future or if crippling loneliness is something that has always been with us.
The full album is scheduled for 29th May. Do not miss it by saving the album on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
5. Miqayel Voskanyan experimented with a new format
A musician Miqayel Voskanyan used his time in quarantine to explore new forms of expression. With his new experimental composition In The Dark Forest, he let many dive into the forest from the comfort of their homes. He used simple nearby objects to create visual and audio improvisations and created a powerful meditative song.
“It’s true that during the pandemic, plans got canceled and stayed unfinished,” contemplates Miqayel Voskanynan. “But my team and I decided to stay true to our mission and continue to inspire people with music!”
While in quarantine, the musician tested new formats. Together with his team has launched Tarantine: Quarantine Live Music Sessions. Broadcasted from his home studio, the performances feel more intimate and comforting. More than 25,000 people tuned in to listen to exclusive streams. The artists even hosted a special #Tarantine session for kids.