Black Rock: Track by Track

The black volcanic landscape of Lanzarote provided the unifying location for Gasparyan’s mellow, gorgeous performances and the inimitable creativity of guitarist/producer Michael Brook. Together with multi-instrumentalist Richard Evans, they have created a dramatic, sultry and beautiful soundscape.

We’ve put together some lyric translations by Narine Gasparyan that reveal some of the poetic, emotional depth of the songs on this classic album by the Armenian Duduk player Djivan Gasparyan.

1. To The River

A fisherman’s song

“My hands are wet with blood and sweat but I work to sell the fish and buy bread. The moon shines and the night is dark but I go to the river with the net in my hands.”

2. Fallen Star

A mother’s song

She is crying over the dead body of her son, who died the death of a hero fighting for his motherland.

“Cry with me purple flowers, cry with me cold winds. That bright star of mine has fallen, the bright sky is covered with dark clouds. I am alone in this world. My brave son has a warm bullet in his heart, instead of his lover’s warm kiss.”

 

3. Take My Heart

A love song

“I wish you were a flower in my garden. I wish you were a bird flying over my garden. I wish you were with me, my love. Stay with me, don’t cause me too much pain. You may take my heart away if you wish, only please don’t leave me. Stay with me and I will do anything for you.”

4. Together Forever

Another love song

“I do not know where the road leads but I sit here and wait for you. I pray for you, my love. Where is the bright day? Where are you? I know we will be together forever. You will come and bring new joy to my dark heart. I miss you, my love.”

5. Freedom

A patriotic song of independence

A man is looking at Mount Ararat and wishing he could get to his motherland, but black clouds have darkened his way.

“Your cool waters are so dear to me, let’s drink your cool water to the memory of our grandfathers. I love your high mountains. We will fight for your freedom, my sweet motherland, in memory of our grandfathers.”

6. Forbidden Love

A bard, a musician in the Sultan’s palace, loves the Sultan’s daughter. But this is unacceptable and the Sultan wants to sentence him to death.

“You are a golden cup full of immortal water for me. Your lips are diamonds, your tongue is sugar. You are everything to me. You came out from the sea of fire and changed my tears into blood. Let them kill me, still I love you, my dearest. Nothing else remains for me in this world.”

Michael Brook on his collaboration with Djivan Gasparyan

Candian producer/guitarist Michael Brook discusses working with an Armenian duduk player.

 

7. Immigrant’s Song

“Through endless steps walks my caravan, passing through foreign lands. Take me to my homeland —to the land of sunshine where songs sound, where forever it is spring.”

8. Dark Souls

Two travellers dressed in rags say to one another:

“We have loved but sorrow is in our souls. We love to travel and to dream and to sail past the stars of the Milky Way. Our childhood passes through the stars, our sorrowful childhood that was never consoled. Life was full of seeking and passed us by like a dream. I want to sing the glory of God and the glory of love, but my heart fills with sorrow and I sing the song of our hard, dark days. Nobody understood us in this life and light never entered into our darkened souls. Life became an unconsolable delirium.”

Featured album

  • Black Rock

    Djivan Gasparyan & Michael Brook

    Released 06 September 1998

    The black volcanic landscape of Lanzarote provided the unifying location for Gasparyan’s mellow, gorgeous performances and the inimitable creativity of guitarist/producer Brook. Together with multi-instrumentalist Richard Evans, they have created a dramatic, sultry and beautiful soundscape.

By Narine Gasparyan

Photo credit: Cristina Piza.

Published on Thu, 20 August 98

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