Friday, February 26, 2010
Procession of the Sardars comes from the Caucasian Sketches by a Russian composer Ippolitov-Ivanov. I think inspired by Georgian folk music, etc...
A Sardar = Persian Commander
I'm guessing the Sardar thing has to do with the fact that Georgia was part of the Persian empire at one point. <- Same thing with Armenia.
There was this "Armenian Radio Hour" radio program that was on every Sunday morning as I rode home from church with my family. Even though my dad (half Armenian) did not want to have anything to do with that heritage while growing up (embarrassing to be different + back then Armenians were seen as communist sympathizers because of their close relations with Russia), he got over that rebellion. He turned this radio station on because he wanted us to know and identify with the music and language. He and my mom even started to learn the language right up to the point when the radio guy was explaining the different 'coughing' sounds. There is a soft sound you make, like you are politely and quietly coughing in church. Then there is a loud moist sounding cough that you make in private and don't need to be polite. <- My parents gave up at that point. :)
Anyway, the reason why I mention this radio program is it would begin and end with that familiar piece. So I always assumed it was done by an Armenian composer and was about Armenia. <- I'm not sure whether or not Georgia counts as 'close enough'. I've heard differing accounts of how friendly or tentative relations are between the two countries.
The Armenian stuff does come to play in what I'm writing. Even though I usually write about characters with black hair, large dark eyes, and olive skin, this is the first novel-project that the characters are openly part-Armenian. In a way, my main character is somewhat based on my dad, though she looks exactly like my youngest sister (Liz is very short, has long black hair, warm/dark olive skin, and beautiful almond-shaped reddish-brown eyes). I'm having fun - even though I'll probably tone some of it down before I hand it over for critters to see.