Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The issue of using another’s recordings and work (stealing) has reached new levels in Armenia. By chance, we came across another of Shant television’s music competitions, which have become good business for them . . . the “Folk Singer” and “Superstar” competitions, for which concerts in Yerevan and Los Angeles have been organized, and now another competition, tonight’s show featuring children’s folk songs. The female announcer, whom we know, introduced each song and the singers of each, after which we heard all the songs from the Hayrik Mouradian Children’s Folk Song and Dance group’s CD, arranged (synthesized) by a local musician/arranger, with the melodies and singing a copy of the music from the CD. A group of “experts” judged the singers (as they do for all of Shant’s competitions). After the show, a call to the female host revealed something interesting, that when planning for this folk program, she requested that Aleksan and Hasmik Harutyunyan, being they had produced the CD (music) they were going to use, be amongst those who judge the singers, and help make sure the singing was done correctly in the first place. At the committee meeting, the person in charge of these competitions refused, saying Aleksan isn’t well known (in spite of appearing at Carnegie Hall and Theatre De La Ville with Shoghaken, as well as singing with Hovhannes Chekijian’s choir, the Kohar Ensemble, Hay Folk, etc.) and that Hasmik would require the singers to sing correctly, not merely announcing how wonderful someone sang (as their so-called experts do), saying at the end, “Hasmik Harutyunyan won’t step foot here.”

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