Mkrtich Naghash was an Armenian poet active in the first decades of the 15th century. A priest, he composed texts whose content complemented his preaching, and saw poetic writing as an extension of his personal meditation.
When I discovered [Naghash’s] work, explains John Hodian – author of the pieces in this programme – the words leapt off the page and into my soul. I realised I had found what I was looking for […] and, after much contemplation, I decided to set all the preserved poems to music.
Exile, mourning, hope. Naghash’s poems interrogate these fundamentals of human experience. Rooted in the rich musical tradition of centuries-old Armenia, Hodian’s music brings together folk instruments, classical strings, a jazz piano with a contemporary rhythm and voices to give these ancient words a contemporary vibration and to restore, beyond linguistic barriers, their profound humanity.
J. Hodian  /  Songs of Exile