Djivan Gasparyan (1928 – 2021)

We were saddened to hear news about the death of Armenian duduk player Djivan Gasparyan yesterday. He was a true master of his instrument, and his talent was known internationally through his many recordings and collaborations. Amongst these, he recorded the album Black Rock with Canadian producer Michael Brook for Real World Records, which was released in 1998.

Djivan died on 6th July 2021 at the age of 92. Peter Gabriel posted a tribute to him yesterday which sums up the memories we have of Djivan during the time he spent working on the album Black Rock:

I fell in love with the music of the duduk when I was introduced to it during the research for the film score of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. In Armenia they say that when the duduk is played well, everyone cries. The great master of the instrument was Djivan Gasparyan.

He was a delightful companion, with a great sense of mischief and I loved the soulfulness that poured out of him when we were lucky enough to see him or to play with him.

One evening at Real World Studios he stood up in the dining room in the middle of the meal and said, “I am playing this for my mother.” Not a dry eye in the room. When he lifted his duduk to his lips he cast a spell over all who listened. Thank you, Djivan.

Peter Gabriel

Djivan Gasparyan (12 October 1928 – 6 July 2021)

Featured Release

  • 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 Online Editor

Main image: Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook at Real World Records in 1998. Photo credit: Cristina Piza

Published on Wed, 07 July 21

Further reading

Tim Bowness announces new album Butterfly Mind

Real World Music Publishing writer, Tim Bowness, announces the release of his 7th studio album.

Les Amazones d’Afrique to play Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury date forms part of the band's forthcoming UK tour.

Africa comes to Real World: revisiting albums by six legendary artists

Jane Cornwell explores our new reissue series 'Africa Sessions at Real World'.

Track of the Day: ‘Chavale’ by Kerieva, from Dub No Frontiers

Today sees the release of Kerieva’s ‘Chavale’, the second track to be revealed from the forthc...