“The people in the audience have a feeling of longing, and there is an insatiable feeling of longing in our songs”
Recently, Element Band gave a concert in Armenia. Eritasard.am revealed many interesting details during an interview with Ara Dabandjian and Soseh Aramouni.
Eritasard.am: How did you two meet? Ara: We met through friends in 2002. Over the years, we became good friends and started a career. Soseh joined our band and has been performing with us since 2007. Eritasard.am: Why did you choose the name “Element”? Ara: Element means particle. The idea is that the members of the band are united as one with different feelings, different personalities and of different nature. Each member of the band is an “element”, a “particle” that is unique and has his or her place and role. Currently, there are six elements in the band, including Armenian and non-Armenian. We are all particles. We make up an element. Eritasard.am: How did you come up with the idea of forming a band? Ara: When I met different musicians, I realized that it was time to form a band and that people in the States and in Armenia would listen to our music. Eritasard.am: Why did you decide to get involved in music? Soseh: The important thing for me is to have people listen to Armenian music. We Armenians have wonderful songs that penetrate your soul and stay there. I sing so that the youth, especially young Diaspora Armenians never forget Armenian music and their roots. Ara: What Diaspora Armenian youth listen to these days is Armenian pop music which, unfortunately, is very far from being Armenian. Our band tries to introduce them to the songs of gousans (troubadours), but we present them in a new way. We don’t have to use the Armenian duduk in all songs to make them sound Armenian. Eritasard.am: Presenting the songs in a new way implies risks. Is it really easy for people to accept your music? Soseh: We do everything we can to keep the spirit of the songs alive. Ara: It wasn’t easy to turn this idea into a reality in the first year, but later, people realized that “Armenianness” lies at the core of our music and that we’re not changing the spirit and power of the songs by presenting the songs a little differently. When the young people loved our music, the adults accepted it, whether they wanted to or not (laughing). Of course, there was also criticism, but there was less criticism after a while. Eritasard.am: How would you describe your audience? Soseh: The people in our audience have a feeling of longing, and there is an insatiable feeling of longing in our songs. If there was no longing, people wouldn’t love, wouldn’t accept or listen to our songs. Because of that longing, whenever we perform a new song, it already seems close to everyone’s heart. Eritasard.am: Which of your songs is your favorite? Soseh: Perhaps the songs “Anush Hairenik”, “Martiki Yerge” and “Nubar”. We love it when the audience sings along with us, relives the particular song and experiences every sound. Eritasard.am: What are your future projects? Ara: The most important project is the release of a new album. We have projects dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and will be giving several concerts across the United States. These are perhaps the major projects. Eritasard.am: How did you feel when you visited Armenia for the first time? Soseh: I was 19 when I visited Armenia for the first time. When the plane landed, I automatically started crying. Those tears were tears of longing, happiness and pride. I will never forget that moment. I had heard a lot of stories about Armenia until that moment, but words can’t describe how I felt when I saw Armenia with my own two eyes. Ara: I had the same feelings. Everything was very emotional. I only had one fear, and it happened-I fell in love. Yes, I fell in love with Armenia. Gallery: Element Band Lilit Sedrakyan