In this inaugural, Rock Edition, history seems to play an important role, the legacy of the Soviet times, with all that it entails (censorship, nostalgia, etc). How do you perceive the historical legacy of Armenian music in general?
Armenian music is very multi-layered. There is the Soviet heritage so to say, and there is diaspora music. I dug a lot of the archives, found reports and documents on folk music that was actually very appreciated during Soviet Armenia and a lot of research and collecting was executed back then. However, Soviet Armenia had its own traps obviously, a lot of censorship for whatever could shake up the solid state of the propaganda. Anything provocative was obviously banned so there was little space for critical thinking and individualism. Same with the methodology of folk music research. It’s hard to imagine what it could have been without the Soviet influence because it was fortunate there was a lot of research done, but it could have also looked differently without standardisation procedures.
What are your plans with the series - which music genres will you present next?
My next documentary is a full-length about the genre/subculture that haunts me the most - RABIZ. It’s urban folk pop/urban pop music that is meant for restaurant feasts, weddings, funerals, remembrance and lyrical music. It’s hard to categorise Rabiz but it's a realistic plasm of folk music adapted to a regular urban listener. It’s beautiful although the older “intelligentsia” generation seems to look down on it. I try my best to popularise this music and play it in my DJ sets a lot. So there’s going to be a film about it very soon.