Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

MYCHAEL DANNA

By RAFFI MENESHIAN
Published April 7, 2006

Soundtrack To The Motion Picture Ararat
Milan

The talented composer Mychael Danna (Monsoon Wedding, Exotica) has been a frequent collaborator with legendary Canadian-Armenian film director Atom Egoyan. Their latest project is linked with the feature film Ararat, a story about the 1915 genocide of the Armenian people by the Turkish government. As expected, the music Danna creates is deep, mournful and spiritually uplifting like the film itself. Combining Armenian folk instruments such as the duduk, tar, and zourna with a lush orchestra, the main theme of Ararat weaves in and out of the famous Komitas folk song, “Groong” (The Crane). Using top-notch musicians such as duduk player Kevork Dabaghian, opera superstar Isabel Bayrakdarian, and multi-instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, the music is performed here in a scintillating fashion. Of special note are the haunting vocal passages from members of the Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia (Armenian Voices). While the orchestral arrangements are overwhelmingly beautiful, it’s the quietly intense instrumental passages that make Danna’s Ararat one of most satisfying movie soundtracks based on native folk music to come along in years.