Mariam Matossian | Far From Home

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World: Armenian World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Far From Home

by Mariam Matossian

Combining the unique sounds of the duduk, oud, mandolin, guitar and the hypnotic rhythms of the djembe, dumbec and udu with the mesmerizing voice of singer Mariam Matossian, this powerful debut album takes each listener on an enchanting journey to Armenia
Genre: World: Armenian
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Groong - The Crane: To Begin
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2:00 $0.99
2. Almast - Jewel
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4:14 $0.99
3. Hayastan - Armenia
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2:49 $0.99
4. Hayastani Aghchigner - Armenian Girls
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1:51 $0.99
5. Gakavig - Partridge
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3:27 $0.99
6. Garod - Yearning
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4:03 $0.99
7. Groong - The Crane: Request
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1:53 $0.99
8. Mayrigis - To My Mother
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5:20 $0.99
9. Hayrenik - My Homeland
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2:55 $0.99
10. Shogher Jan - Ray of Light
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3:22 $0.99
11. Yerevani Kisherner - Nights of Yerevan
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3:42 $0.99
12. Oror - Lullaby
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4:14 $0.99
13. Groong - The Crane: Flight
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1:53 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Mariam Matossian was born in Vancouver, B.C. where the Armenian community is a small one, struggling to be as vibrant and active as the larger communities in Montreal and Toronto. However, despite this obstacle, her culture has remained an integral, precious part of her life. Perhaps it is a result of growing up in a city with few Armenians that her passion for her language and culture has been so strong. Mariam's love for her cultural heritage intensified when she decided to travel to and work as a volunteer in Armenia. She was the first one from her family to ever see the homeland, and this was an extremely emotional experience. Mariam writes: "Hearing my language being spoken in every store, through the loudspeakers at the subway station and on every street corner was surreal. As I worked and ate and laughed with fellow Armenians during the week and then visited the country's treasures -- the ancient churches, monasteries, and even Mount Ararat from afar -- on the weekends, my passion for my culture was deepened all the more." Four years later, Mariam's yearning to return to Armenia was fulfilled when she decided to take a leave of absence from a career she loves -- teaching -- to go back to Armenia with the hope of working with street children. Mariam had first learned about the plight of Armenian orphans while she was volunteering at the local newspaper during her first visit. She knew then that she somehow had to find a way to return to the country and use her teaching and counselling skills to try to make a positive difference in the lives of these children. That dream came to fruition in February 2002. Mariam volunteered with 2 local non governmental agencies in Yerevan, the capital city, and helped develop programs for the children. This was a life changing experience for her. Mariam writes: "Upon coming home to Canada, I was faced with a difficult decision: return to Armenia and continue my work there or remain in Vancouver and resume my teaching career. I loved both of these options and had a gruelling time trying to decide between the two. Little did I know, however, that the decision had been made for me long ago and that a very different path was about to be revealed to me." She continues: "While I was actively looking for teaching work here and volunteer positions in Armenia, something inside me kept telling me that I had to first complete the album that I had started to work on before I left for this trip. This seemed like an incredibly risky path to take, but however hard I tried, I could not ignore this voice, this strong yearning inside me to communicate my culture's story to a larger audience through our timeless folk songs." But after meeting producer Adam Popowitz, Mariam embarked on what she says has become "one of my most meaningful, challenging, and amazing adventures to date." She goes on to say that "the process of fusing my passion for the Armenian language and my love of music through this album has been an enriching journey. I have had to draw on all my past experiences -- my joys and my pains -- in order to have the courage to begin and complete and now share this album with others." Mariam had the privilege of working with a group of extremely talented musicians including Adam Popowitz (mandolin, guitars, bass), Elliot Polsky (percussion), Andre Thibault (oud, bouzouki, additional percussion), Shannon Rowe (flute), Ruben Haroutunian (duduk)and George Hall (additional mandolin). She hopes that this recording will give a world audience, Armenians and non-Armenians alike, the chance to experience the beauty of her culture's music. She says, "My dream has always been to share the story of my culture with as many people who want to listen. My grandparent's story -- especially accounts of their faith, resilience, and hope despite the many obstacles that they endured -- and more recently, the plight of the street children in Armenia -- the very children who taught me some of the songs which are now on this album -- have inspired me. I long to share these stories with people as I, in turn, learn from what others have to say. And as I pass on this music, these stories to others, I hope that people will be as enriched as I have been." Ó 2004 Far From Home


Reviews


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Verna

Absolutely Stunning, Incredible, Beautiful - Heart, Soul & Spirit
Mariam, How absolutely Lovely!!!
The first time I heard your singing, I had to sit down to listen, I was trembling. It deeply touched me in my heart. It reminds me of the mountains of Armenia, so spiritual & so majestic. Your singing reminds me of the indomitable and unconquerable Hye Spirit of Armenia ... 'On Eagles Wings'..

Sheila Gibbons

Hauntingly beautiful music from a very talented singer.
This CD provides beautiful, relaxing music that seems to transport the listener to far away,exotic places. It stimulates the imagination and introduces the listener to a different culture. I highy recommend this CD to others looking for a different experience. Thank you, Mariam.

Sue Dudoward

Brilliant vocals, fascinating instrumentation, joyful, musical, soulful!
Far From Home is rivetting from the very 1st notes of the haunting Groong. Mariam's agile voice, sometimes soft and caressing, sometimes laughingly joyful, evokes the mystery and the depth of her Middle Eastern heritage. The authenticity of the instruments and the musicianship of the players instantly transports the listener into the heart and soul of Armenia.

deirdre82

Passport to another world!
I first heard some songs from Far From Home on the NPR echoes program and ordered it. The songs are really lovely, a nice blend between Armenian traditional and Ambient sounds. I agree with the listeners above that it does evoke Celtic sounds but also the sounds of ancient, ancient cultures in the Cradle of Civilization.The songs "Jewel" and the "Lullaby" are nothing short of being transported not only to Armenia, but to another world.

Leo Magnum

Musically recorded masterpiece of world class music
This CD is a very well recorded and producted. The only aspect of this CD more impressive than the clarity of the sound, is the music itself. The recording only amplifies the emotionally charged voice of Mariam Matossian into a relaxing, peaceful, charged, and thunderously soft musical masterpiece.

The music is very rythmic, measure beat accurate, and engaging to the human ear. This is one of those rare CD's where you can play start to finish without skipping a single track. I would highly recommend this to anyone. The musical merit this CD achieves is of world class for all cultures and people to enjoy.

DR

Absolutely beautiful
A beautiful redition of traditional Armenian songs.

Errol Hudspith

Mariam - wonderful! When is your next CD coming out?
Earthy and full, yet sweet and eternal.
My heart opens wider. I am deeply moved.
This exquisite singing and great music!

Tom

Perfect
This cd is absolutely fantastic. Words cannot express the emotion and imagery that it evokes. A wonderful cd.

Mark Naylor

Great album, beautiful haunting voice
This album is reminiscent of Enya and Sarah Brightman in both quality and style of music. The haunting sound of Mariam's voice is extremely pleasant and soothing to listen to. I love it!

Talyn Terzian

A true journey back for those of us far from home...
This music on this CD is a cross between the ancient and the new...although it sounds new age, some of the songs Mariam has chosen are older than time... For those who do not understand the Armenian language, note that it is not essential to fall in love with this CD. I too feel the pull of "home" as does the artist, who's own struggle permeates through the music. Well done.
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