NPR logo

Mother, Where Are You?

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144105235/144076781" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Tigran Hamasyan: A Pianist's Mellow Ode To 'Mother'

Tigran Hamasyan: A Pianist's Mellow Ode To 'Mother'

Mother, Where Are You?

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144105235/144076781" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tigran Hamasyan lets the melody sing a song of yearning and hope in "Mother, Where Are You?" Christian Ducasse hide caption

toggle caption
Christian Ducasse

Tigran Hamasyan lets the melody sing a song of yearning and hope in "Mother, Where Are You?"

Christian Ducasse

Thursday's Pick

Song: "Mother, Where Are You?"

Artist: Tigran Hamasyan

CD: A Fable

Genre: Jazz

With a firm yet delicate touch, 24-year-old jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan plays what he says is "simply one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard." He's referring to "Mother, Where Are You?" — an Armenian folk song which addresses many mothers, from the mother of Jesus to Mother Nature to the Armenian Mother Goddess Anahit. The song, featured on Hamasyan's new album A Fable, is part of the pianist's heritage. He was born in Armenia, his family came to the U.S. when he was 16, and he's been picking up jazz prizes and building a reputation ever since.

Choirs and opera singers have given voice to the hymn, soaring to the heavens in their renditions. But in his wordless version, Hamasyan shows restraint not always present in a musician so young. He wisely lets the melody sing its song of yearning and hope and praise, adding just an occasional tremolo or grace note, bringing a bit of quickness to the pace, then slowing on down. In his mellow hands, that beautiful melody embraces the listener like a mother's arms.

Purchase Featured Music

Fable

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Fable
Artist
Tigran Hamasyan
Label
Verve
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?