The embassy of Armenia in Copenhagen presents
Songs & Stories of Armenia
Join us for a fascinating evening featuring Armenian/American composer
John Hodian’s trio Epiphany 3 and documentary filmmaker Jussi Flemming Biørn.
Jussi Flemming Biørn’s grandmother was a Norwegian missionary nurse who saved thousands of lives through her missions and orphanages throughout Western Armenia during World War I. John Hodian’s grandmother was an Armenian genocide survivor who endured unthinkable hardships in her journey from her native land to her new life in America. We will celebrate the power of these two women in stories and songs that reflect the creative re-birth of a new generation of Diaspora Armenians.
Jussi Biørn will introduce us to the many ancient and modern connections between Norway and Armenia. He will present a short film focusing on the work of his grandmother Bodil, and his own mysterious Armenian roots. Afterwards Epiphany 3 will present a concert of intriguing music with roots in Armenian music, classical, folk, rock and improvisation.
"Composer John Hodian plays evocative melodies and intricate rhythms on the piano that reflect his Armenian roots, his classical training and a love of improvisation. Bet Williams sings, breathes, shouts, whispers and cries with her 4- octave-range voice. On percussion, their 13-year-old son Jack Hodian possesses a keen sense of rhythm unparalleled by most adult drummers."
- Hamburg Abendblatt
From ancient monasteries in Armenia to music festivals around the world, Bet Williams and John Hodian have been creating and performing music together for over 15 years. Described as, "a unique hybrid of world music, art song, Americana and avant-garde folk; utterly uncategorizable but transcendentally beautiful,” by the Washington Post, their music is a blend of ancient and modern cultures and musical styles, with earthy, trance-like rhythms and at times chant-like melodies.
Songs of Exile
The trio will also be performing excerpts from Hodian’s magnum opus “Songs of Exile”. Originally written for The Naghash Ensemble, this music combines the earthy spirituality of Armenian folk song, new classical music, contemporary post-minimalism and the energy of rock and jazz. The songs are a profound meditation on man's relationship to God from the perspective of a 15th century Armenian monk forced to live in exile for many years.
“Part folk music, part classical and profoundly moving”
- BR Klassik