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The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble was founded in 2008 by the Armenian musician Levon Eskenian with the aim of creating ethnographically authentic arrangements of the G.I. Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann piano music. The ensemble consists of leading Eastern folk instrumentalists in Armenia playing duduk, blul/nay, saz, tar, kiamancha, oud, kanon, santur, dap/daf, tombak and dhol.
Gurdjieff is known to many in the West as one of the major spiritual figures of the 20th century. His extraordinary musical repertoire was based on the music he heard during his journeys in Armenia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and many parts of Central Asia, India and North Africa, where he witnessed a myriad of folk and spiritual music, rituals and dance traditions. Levon Eskenian has chosen and arranged those pieces that have roots in Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, and Caucasian folk and spiritual music for Eastern folk instruments.
Music of Georges I.Gurdjieff
Author/Artist: Gurdjieff Ensemble
Publisher: ECM Records
First published: 2011
THE Gurdjieff Folk Instrument Ensemble Levon Eskenian
Music of Georges I. Gurdjieff
CD label: ECM
Chant from a holy book
Kurd shepherd melody
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 10
Sayyid chant and Dance No. 29
Sayyid chant and dance No. 9
No. 11 from “Asian songs and rhythms”
No. 40 from “Asian songs and rhythms”
Assyrian women mourners
Atarnakh, kurd song
Ancient Greek dance
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Since 1924 there have been many excellent recordings and concert performances based on the Gurdjieff - deHartmann music; though in my experience none other than The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble have had the authenticity of the sources of the music Gurdjieff brought to us; with these arrangements and these instruments we are brought nearer to the sources of the Gurdjieff music, be it folk melodies, sufi songs, or Orthodox hymns.
To witness. like I had the opportunity on Friday the 20th in Stans, Switzerland, an audience of over 500 people in a Catholic Church, silently iistening for a couple of hours also shows that the right place to hear this music is a Church.
Let us hope that the Movements and Dances can follow!
Reij Oksanen, Switzerland
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