Sanity Code

Teacher is taught by his own students and while trying to find a way to each of them you can discover something new

City Mariam Merabova

 

If we take as a base the theory of parallel multiple universes then music is a separate spiritual world with the components like divine harmony, mathematical part, traditions passed for millenniums from generation to another one. The nature of this phenomenon seems to be impossible to know. One thing is obvious, humankind never existed without music carrying the certain code since ancient times. This code defines the man of future and upcoming society — our columnist, Mariam Merabova, jazz singer and entertainer, considers.

From the day of my birth, I was surrounded by music. My grandmother sang excellently and played Armenian folk songs by Enzeli and Komitas. She loved romances and operettas and sang arias. The door of her flat in Tbilisi was never closed and tea and her perfect jam were always ready waiting for someone. People came and not a single day passed without guests. The playing of a music instrument was a custom and no feast passed without music. These quite often started spontaneously, making any day a holiday.       

I have a good ear for music but without perfect pitch, which allows me to understand folk music and distinguish Armenian musical moods without foreign influences. The song by Arthur Grigoryan «Meghedi», was sung by Elvira Markaryan, an excellent singer who sadly passed away early, and also by Erna Yuzbashyan and I completely fell in love with it. An iconic, one hundred percent jazz standard. One day my husband and collaborator Armen Merabov and I performed it as a composition built on the principles of a jazz ballad.

There are many examples where Armenian folk has been given a jazz treatment and some names associated are Tatevik Oganeshan with music of Komitas and Sayat-Nova, Tigran Hamasyan or Arto Tunchboyadzhan. Professionals give all of their time to it — chosen ones, servants, keepers of traditions: folklorists. It’s a shame that people don’t pay enough attention to their roots, to folklore. If National things were cultivated as they should be it wouldn’t let us fall — being a cultural health base, panacea from chaos and cynicism. We should support folklore, traditions and put them to the front line.

One day I came to the moment in my life where I began to think about my mission and the reason I lived for and dedicated my life to music. Armen helped me a lot in finding the answers. He is a high moral man with right orientations. I follow him. I have this rule — to be bonded to my husband. Direction he follows makes me happy because he is a man of principles. I always tell children to do like their father does and never prevaricate because I know that I can be proud of him. He would never say to do right things and then go and steal or lie. This makes me happy.

Family is the most important thing in people’s lives. It is a tradition and there’s no other priority because otherwise it will be not normal. It is a sanity code. What we see today is a family depreciation process, cultivating escape from the right traditions and the only thing we can do is showing our children with our own example how to live right. To love and respect each other, to be a husband and wife first of all, to be always together in decisions, in joy and sorrow — no one can take it from us.

Music and family is two in one for me. I am a traditional Caucasus woman with my culture and in our families there’s one priority by all means man, husband. I do my best being wise to understand that I attract more attention due to my profession. Unfortunately, it is not the best moment in history of music and show-business development for instrumentalists now and all laurels are given to singers. Of course, I understand that all spotlights are more often on Mariam Merabova rather than on Armen Merabov even though he is my teacher and he doesn’t get the credit due to him. Armen is an absolutely outstanding musician, composer and pianist. And he turned out to be an amazing person who had let me develop my skills myself: never pushed me telling what and how to do, he just let me grow. And this is perfect.

We create together with pleasure and often at home. We have fallouts sometimes and this is normal. It would be strange not to have some but we are always in one boat, we have one ear for two of us, we look in one direction. We complete each other: he starts creating something I continue it, then he catches it up again in his turn. We come to repetitions and since God blessed us with great colleagues, the magic goes on and they continue the process with us. Our family life doesn’t affect our creative union at all. We spend a lot of time together and this is great. We adore concert tours because we separate from children and it keeps our romantic feelings alive.

The second important element helping to answer the question «what am I for» is teaching. I teach and I am happy in it. Teacher is taught by his own students and while trying to find a way to each of them you can discover something new. You are always about to make a discovery if you are alive if you are not of bronze yet. Teacher passes the cultural code in music, his mission is to teach to listen to the music first of all, to hear and feel it. Then to feel styles and create. Music is divine it can’t be counted you can just teach to feel it and open the doors of spiritual search, one doesn’t live without another, no voice training can give you anything if you are empty inside.

And third thing is that I value a possibility to give and share. I’m Christian but I learn the world religions searching for similar places in all sacred Books. In Quran I like one of the important notions, surplus. You should find it, it is material or not, it can be your cordiality, actions of help or money. This surplus should be your reference point to share, it is very important to find it and give. It is happiness, a beautiful state as if you open your soul and meet God when you do such a right thing. Not to praise your own greatness for God’s sake but to grow further.

Once being abroad I noticed that there are many elderly people and middle-aged people with disabilities walking around. I come back here and I don’t see them going out because here they are in a sad state especially if they are alone. Bureaucracy and corruption block the help of State but waiting and weeping about it is worse than going and doing something. Go, get together with other people, help without thinking much. Our charity found «Zhivoy» helps adult people because children always attract more money. It is obvious that a child’s photo gets a faster response. It is harder to find money for mature and elderly people.

I want to see everyone healthy, happy and alive. I wish there’s no war. Those in a conflict to make peace — people and nations. I am worried about hatred growing much and no culture. I’d like TV to broadcast other programs, to hear better music, to see intellectual and spiritual faces. Chaos and time of troubles we witness today change traditional attitude to good and bad. The meaning of the word tolerance is overestimated, it shouldn’t be placed when we deal with the culture and main life laws. We shouldn’t listen to the wrong music, watch wrong movies, no need to be scared to study, it is wrong to make everything fast, superficially. No giving up, no compromising. Otherwise everything will get destroyed.

— Teacher is taught by his own students and while trying to find a way to each of them you can discover something new>.