The Tar Master
Our Network member Miqayel Voskanyan's sonorous journey.
July 19, 2019 | by Creative Armenia
Musician, composer, and our Network member Miqayel Voskanyan talked with us about his recent performance at Ford Theatre Foundation, current collaborations, and future plans.
CA: Your band Miqayel Voskanyan & Friends recently performed at the well-acclaimed Ford Theatre Foundation in Hollywood. Tell us a little about that experience.
MV: Like every concert that I have had at a foreign stage, Ford Theatre has left a big impression on me. Every new stage and auditorium gives new energy and motivation because you witness how your music has an impact on a new listener who belongs to a foreign culture.
The concert at Ford Theatre was very demanding, as the theatre is one of the oldest performing art venues in Los Angeles. Series of performances within “IGNITE @ the Ford!”, during which MVF also played, introduce artists from around the world, opening a window for the LA audience to a wide range of cultures and genres. But it also works the other way around too. I was honored to be part of the experience.
CA: What is your long-term vision for your creative career?
MV: My creative vision is to move by my art as many listeners as possible and to have recognition in different parts of the world as a representative of Armenian music and a player of one of the oldest instruments.
I have a specific vision of my work in Armenia. One year ago I founded OBERTON music company.
I want it to become a platform to develop music taste and to create new and more educational music content.
I have already developed educational music projects which will help the new generation love art, differentiate the temporary music from the permanent, and create unforeseen music that will be competitive in the global scene.
CA: You were also among the jury members for our 7 Notes Music Challenge. Tell us, is there a difference for you in being an artist and a judge? Does it make you more self-aware or self-critical?
When you are a jury member and have to evaluate and grade other artists' works, every moment there's a thought in your head—how would others grade my art and work? After every experience of being the jury, I start to make comparisons and be more self-critical of my own work.
CA: For your recent music film Utopia you have collaborated with three artists—an animator, an author, and another music band. How do you feel about collaborations with artists from various fields?
MV: During my entire creative career I experienced most enjoyment from collaborations. In reality, MVF, which exists for 8 years now, started as a collaboration between jazz and folk music.
Because my professional education is in art criticism, I've always been interested in different art fields and in finding ways to synthesize and combine them. Now, we are developing a new project with Ruben Malayan. I hope that we will be able to present it to you soon.
CA: In an occasion, you called your music “mostly folk with jazz-fusion combinations”. Tell us how you landed upon this mutation of genres.
MV: My music can have an influence from different genres and I really don't like to categorize it into genres. It's more folk-jazz fusion when I play with MVF. But recently, I am creating music in the experimental genre. Even the new program of the band is more contemporary than the jazz our listeners are used to. There's no limit, there's just music.
CA: Who or what is your creative inspiration?
MV: It's more of a what than who. Every moment, every situation can become a source of music. Every moment is filled with emotions. An interesting thing is that sometimes moments filled with strong emotions give me the opposite reaction. For example, in more than one occasion during a funeral, I came up with a piece of very happy music, and during a birthday or wedding a very sad one. Because I have no control of when the inspiration will hit me, I try to be aware of every moment, to feel the corresponding emotion, not only the strongest like happiness or sadness. So, I guess my inspiration lays in every expression of emotion.