Saturday, March 14, 2009

A friend who works as a journalist for the “Armenakob” television station called this morning, and after talking business began telling her opinion about the new ruling from the Culture Minister banning lip synching at concerts in Yerevan’s state-owned halls. “The funniest thing,” she said, “is the way the best known stars, who lip synch 90% of the time they are on stage, are rushing to say how good the new ruling is, how important it is that singers perform live, and the like. One of them, already quite highly paid, stated she would have to start charging more for her concerts, as now she’d be paying musicians whom she didn’t have to pay before, etc. She then went on to say, in a self-assured manner, that ‘people like to be deceived anyway,’ when talking about the concerts where lip synching rules.

“Amusing,” the journalist continued, “that these same singers lip synch at wedding receptions, with the going price ranging from $1,000-$3,000 per song, and they feel no remorse there. And they have the nerve to put themselves on some sort of pedestal, saying that those that pirate their CDs are criminals, when all they do is push a button, open their mouths, and collect their money. Not to mention the fact that they don’t pay taxes. Let them start to pay taxes for the money they make singing at concerts, and watch them cry.

“Another pop star held a press conference, and said that singing live is better, as she was always afraid that while lip synching the power would go out, or there would be some technical problem, and it would become apparent she wasn’t singing live. Another singer, who genuinely approves of the new ruling, complained about singers literally recording letter by letter, saying there was no way these singers could perform live, and they would slowly drop out of sight.

“But there is a negative side,” she said, laughing. “Did you see the concert for Women’s Day on March 8, with the Aram Merangulian Ensemble of Folk Instruments? Rouben Matevosyan, who directs the ensemble, for some reason invited only pop stars to sing, and they all sang live. It was a disaster. All of Yerevan was talking about it. Only Rouben and Arman Hovhannisyan sang well. Did you see how the singers suffered singing live? It would have been better for everybody if they hadn’t sung live. What a sad state of affairs.”

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