I Am He Whose Life and Soul Are Torment: Sergei Parajanov and Symbolic Biography

Speaker: Joseph Bohigian, PhD in Music Composition, Stony Brook University

Date & Time: August 16, 2022 at 8:00-9:30pm Yerevan (09:00-10:30am PDT)

Language: English

The Georgian-born, Soviet-Armenian director Sergei Parajanov was a visionary filmmaker who maintains an outsized importance to 20th century filmmaking, especially in the South Caucasus. His signature symbolical style of biography is best represented by his 1969 film The Color of Pomegranates about the 18th century Armenian ashugh Sayat Nova. Bohigian’s theatrical musical composition I Am He Whose Life and Soul Are Torment tells the story of Parajanov’s life in a similarly abstract manner using Sayat Nova texts in three languages, Armenian, Azeri, and Georgian, representing the transcultural nature of both artists’ output. This evening-length work will be scored for three singers and live electronics, incorporating live processing of the soundtrack to The Color of Pomegranates and recordings of folk musicians across the South Caucasus. The music will be accompanied by projections filmed throughout Armenia and Georgia at sites important to Parajanov’s life.

Joseph Bohigian is a composer and performer whose cross-cultural experience as an Armenian-American is a defining message in his music. His work explores memory, cultural reunification, and identity maintenance in diaspora. Joseph’s works have been heard at the International Computer Music Conference (Limerick, Ireland), June in Buffalo, Walt Disney Concert Hall, New Music on the Point Festival, TENOR Conference (Melbourne), and Aram Khachaturian Museum Hall.

Joseph Bohigian is also an ARISC Fellow who had been awarded the ARISC Junior Research Fellowship, which is supported with a grant from the US Department of Education. This event is sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). The lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more at www.arisc.org

*ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.