Tigran Hamasyan / by Alfonso Salgueiro

I haven't had a musical obsession, as the one I have over the past year with Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan, for a long time. I saw him playing live for the first time last year at the Philharmonie of Luxembourg, where I work as a photographer.

While I look through the viewfinder of my camera, I'm often moved by musicians who are expressive and absorbed during their performances. In a way it is a rather intimate moment I share with them even though they are not at all aware of it. Shooting most of the time from a dark control room, zooming in with my lenses and looking through a small viewfinder brings a sort of closeness that I love.

With Tigran Hamasyan I wasn't only moved but was also totally thrilled. His performance has left an imprint in my musical taste and preferences. The reason is that he encapsulates all those things I love about different musical styles and musical attitudes.

I have quite an eclectic taste when it comes to music, as I have listened to many and varied styles over the years. From rock, heavy rock, instrumental virtuoso guitar players, flamenco, classical music, jazz, blues, singer songwriters, world music, you name it. 

So when I saw Tigran Hamasyan and his musicians playing at times like a heavy metal band, next minute like the finest jazz ensemble or giving us the most refined and beautiful melodies and singing I was immediately taken by his grasp of  the essence of all those styles I still love. He was giving me in a sense a condensed formula of all the music I love into one beautifully conceived style.

His wildly complex beats and eclectic mix of styles go hand in hand with fragments of gentle folk music of Armenia's cultural heritage. If on top of all that you add that he does not shy away from improvising and using multiple keyboard instruments, the result is that his audience vibrates with so much energy it doesn't look like you are attending just another jazz concert. 

If you would like to listen to some of Tigran's music you can do so in his youtube channel 

All images are exclusive © of Alfonso Salgueiro.