FEATURED

Vahagni


ABOUT

As one of the newest voices in Instrumental music, Vahagni has been bending the genres of Flamenco, Jazz, and World music to create a unique style of his own. With multiple awards, 5 star reviews and a consistent, forward motion career, Vahagni continuously takes his music to new heights.

Vahagn Vahagni Turgutyan began playing the guitar when he was 9 years old under the instruction of his father. After several years of studying under his father, he embarked on the first of numerous trips to Andalusia, Spain to learn under the guidance of, Paco Serrano. He studied with Serrano for two years and got the opportunity to play for legendary Flamecno guitarist, Manolo Sanlucar. It was Vahagni's original and unique sound that impressed the maestro, which led to a rare offer to study as a disciple of Sanlucar.

Vahangi has recorded 4 albums: Short Stories (2009), Solitude (2011), Broken Compass (2012) and Imagine Frequencies (2015). His career has taken him on several world tours, festivals, clinics, and appearances on TV and radio shows.

In Imagined Frequencies, his latest recording released in September of 2015, Vahagni weaves in both his playing and his compositions, strands from several styles and traditions — flamenco and classical music, Armenian music and jazz. Yet the overall result has a rare, easy-on-the ear quality that belies its many influences.

At the end of the day we are all searching for a melody, for a story in the music, says the Armenian-born guitarist. And when I write, even when it gets very abstract or might have dissonances, I think naturally about the melody as a way to tie everything together.

Imagined Frequencies, which features a program of original compositions and one strikingly fresh arrangement of the Armenian traditional song “Hov Arek Sarer Jan” interpreted by Afro-Spanish singer Buika, who also appears in the video, covers a broad musical ground, subtly and elegantly. It is his third album as a leader and, says Vahagni, it’s a true snapshot of himself as composer, player and producer.

There is more of me in this album than in any other of my recordings, he says. In fact, his development as a player and composer is accompanied here by his growth as a producer. On Imagined Frequencies (Vahagni Music), Vahagni turned the studio into another instrument “producing, editing and, basically, doing everything to shape the sound of the record. I just fell in love with the creative process in the studio.” Imagined Frequencies includes traditional instruments and performances but also extensive post-production “sound design.” This includes the use of pre-recorded material such as bits of an interview by Spanish painter Salvador Dalí (heard on “Sketches of Dalí”) to taking a section of a piece and, through sound manipulation, creating an entirely new song, as in “Ghost Ships” featuring Sebu of the indie pop group Capital Cities.

Aside from performing, Vahangi also writes a column for Fingerstyle 360 Magazine and is currently a Teaching Assistant for the guitar department at the California Institute of the Arts where he received his MFA.


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