In Hasmik’s words:
“I was with the Akunk Ensemble in Milan, giving a concert, when it was announced that Armenians had liberated Shushi. It was being broadcast on CNN and BBC,which we didn’t understand, but everything was plain to see. They showed the wounded being taken to hospitals, amongst them several friends.
“The concert lasted all night, until we gave out at around 5 am.
“Several days later, back in Yerevan, we gave all the money we had made in Milan to buy food for our wounded friends. Those were crazy times.
“I went to Karabagh several times during the war. Once, with Aleksan, Harut Panosian, and one or two others from Akunk, we gave a concert in Martuni, in the culture building there. Several Akunk members didn’t come, so a villager played dhol, Aleksan played accordion, and I played guitar and sang. In the heat of the war, most musicians were afraid to come to Karabagh. None of the ‘stars’ of the time came. Now, they’re all singing patriotic songs and shouting ‘Karabagh, Karabagh.’ Such is life.
“I remember a concert in Stepanakert. I remember the grads falling. We were giving a concert in a building with the lights off, for safety. Once a helicopter flew overhead, circling our general area, and we all went silent. Luckily, nothing happened.”