top of page

Behind the 7 Notes

An interview with Lucineh Hovannisian, Lilit Yepremyan and Miqayel Voskanyan

June 27, 2018  |  by Creative Armenia

In October 2017 System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian challenged musicians across the world to write a new song starting with the 7 notes he had written. Thousands of musicians from more than 60 countries competed with original compositions in all genres, styles, and moods. What resulted was The 7 Notes Experiment.

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 6.03.51 PM.png

Long before the submissions reached the international jury, headed by Tankian, Creative Armenia ensured that they were being rigorously evaluated. Music professionals across the world were asked to take part in this process. These included three professionals from Armenia: Lucineh Hovanissian (musician), Lilit Yepremyan (musicologist) and Miqayel Voskanyan (tar player).

We asked them a few questions:

Q.: Are you happy with the results of the 7 notes music challenge?

Lilit Yepremyan: I was happy to have such an active response from different countries, from different age groups and creators of different genres. It was a broad and free competition. And there were so many submission that deserve to be recorded and listened to every day.

Q.: Did you expect so many different compositions to come from the same 7 notes?

Lucineh Hovanissian: Being a doctor in addition to a musician, I can tell you that the basis of all life on Earth is an alphabet of four elements: Thymine, Cytosine, Adenine, and Guanine. Still, we have yet to see two humans who repeat each other! So where do all melodies come from? From the same  rainbow of the music “color spectrum.”

Q.: Do you believe in such competitions?

Miqayel Voskanyan: I highly appreciate such competitions, because, first of all, it creates a large self-expression platform for musicians, and also a challenge develops creative thinking.

Q.: What was your takeaway the 7 notes challenge?

L.H.: From the Norwegian “Aramazd's lament”' to the shortest ever “Piano concerto,” from a Moroccan rock band's political satire to a 20-year-old Armenian musicians “digital” prelude, from a classical fugue to potential pop hit, from Brazilian samba to hard rock, from hip hop and rap to the Armenian's Flamenco, this 7 note challenge proved again that music has no limits.

I would slightly change the saying by Galileo, to say that music is “the language in which God wrote the universe.”

bottom of page