August 13th, 2022 7pm Stage 3
Being at ease with yourself is not always easy. You can know who you are, and you can know where you come from. Combining the two is where it gets tricky. I am Aren Emirze. Aren the musician, Aren the Armenian and I am Aren the German.
As a musician, I mainly needed my band Harmful, loud hard noisy rock to get out my inner turmoil. I was doing my thing until I lost my father. That was in 2003. All of a sudden I started to take a closer look into the things he liked and lived for. Firstly being my father, but also a musician and an Armenian. I rediscovered the music he liked and the music he made – Armenian music. Music I grew up with.
My brother and I were going through my father’s vinyl and tape collection, looking for something we could play at his funeral. A blank tape literally fell into my hands. It contained a few songs my father had written and recorded over 20 years ago in our kitchen. I remembered the songs immediately. Especially one song caught my attention, “Achtschig sirounag”. In my childhood, this used to be my favourite song. It was always part of his repertoire along with songs of the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. Maybe I just liked it so much because it was sung in Armenian and therefore closer to home. Mainly though, I got wrapped up in its blues.
That is how in 2006 it came to my first publication of acoustic music under the name of Emirsian. “A Gentle Kind Of Disaster”, with the sound of subtle melancholy and the song of just that tape “Achtschig Sirunag”, which I reproduced post mortem into a duet with my Dad. Modern engineering made it possible. Working on my second Emirsian album “Yelq” it was stirring inside of me already. Captivated by the melancholy and beauty of Armenian music, I felt the growing desire to record an Armenian album. A complete and utter challenge for me as until then I had never made or sung Armenian songs. It was absolutely clear to me that I couldn’t achieve this without any help. I remembered my father was a huge fan of an Armenian Duo from Paris called Hartar in the Seventies. Old Armenian songs made contemporary. Tastefully and timelessly arranged. This album I had known by heart since the age of six. I found the vinyl, wrote down the names and tried to make contact with its members via the Internet. Miraculously having found them, we met and got to know each other. I was able to persuade them into starting to work together. Especially Harout Bezdjian, the guitarist of Hartar was a massive help for me.
We went through all kinds of songs, until I started having a clue of which songs I wanted to record for the Armenian part of “Accidentally In Between”. A mix of traditional folk songs and new songs. Several months of contemplation began on how I should realise this project. In the meantime I continued working on my other music. Fully motivated, I first of all finished my English Emirsian album which was fully created under the impression of my young fatherhood. Right away Rosa-Veron had the lead in the album-opener. Mortal life, which I had meditated about in earlier songs stepped completely behind a new, fresh life. Every end also holds a new beginning. So I started pushing forward, and within two months everything fell into place. I had a strong vision of this album. I knew precisely who should be part of this, and magically everything worked out exactly the way I wanted it. And what’s more, it created a dynamic of its own which carried the Armenian songs even further.