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Imamyar Hasanov Azerbaijani Concert / Lecture at Tyler Junior College, Tyler, TX April.23.2024

Reflections on an Azerbaijan Concert and Lecture

It was as if he were more than a great musician. He was also a guide on a spiritual journey that had taken me far away, to a foreign land, a different time, a different life even.

What I learned from the concert was that music is a universal language that has the power to transcend time and space. I had never heard of nor listened to, the Kamancha. Masterful Azerbaijani musician Imamyar Hasanov tapped into the spirit of the Kamancha, an ancient “spike fiddle” from the Middle Eastern Region of Azerbaijan. In doing so, the unifying sound tapped into my conscience and spirit; taking me on a journey that I never imagined possible. What I liked most about the concert was that it provided an intimate spiritual experience. I only wish that it had been longer. I would have enjoyed walking down the pebble path in that wondrous land.

~ Oscar

Tonight I had the most incredible experience at an Azerbaijan concert and lecture. The energy was awesome, and the music was vibrant. I was swept away by the beautiful melodies and rhythms, and I couldn't help but feel completely engaged in the culture and spirit of Azerbaijan. It was truly a night to remember!

What I learned from this concert is that music plays an important role in the political and social landscape of the Middle East and Central Asia. It was fascinating to see how musicians use their art to convey powerful political messages and how they become the voice of the people in a region where freedom of expression is often stifled.

Overall, the concert gave me a deeper appreciation of the cultural richness of Azerbaijan and its people.

My most important impression of the concert was the incredible energy and passion of the Imamyar Kamancheh. The music was vibrant and captivating, and it was evident that the performers were deeply connected to art and culture. I was particularly moved by the poetry and the way it was seamlessly integrated with the instrumental interludes. It was a beautiful and immersive experience that left a lasting impression on me.

What I liked the most about the concert was the way it brought together the students of TJC to learn about new cultures. It was heartening to see how music can transcend language and cultural barriers and bring people together in a shared experience.

Thank you, Dr. K, for putting together this great concert. I had a wonderful time!

~ Konkova

The music and the instrument were connected to his soul. Whenever he was playing and he came to the end of the song, you could see it in his face whenever he opened his eyes that he felt like he was waking up from a good dream. He is really passionate about his music. I was fascinated by the fiddle and how smooth the sound played, although all credit to the artist because it takes knowing how to play to captivate a crowd. He seemed to be playing so effortlessly and I began to wonder how he played that well and still expressed to us that he was still learning how to perfect his craft.

Sometimes I got lost looking at him playing his instrument and how lost he would get sometimes. I imagined in my head sometimes that whenever he started playing his instrument and would close his eyes, he was probably just physically present in the room with us but his soul was lost in the music. He barely talked and also spoke in a low tone. The only time I heard him audible enough was when someone from the audience had asked a question and he seemed to love the question because it meant something to him. This gave me the impression that he is the type of person who takes pride in his tribe, his music, and the history of his music.

~ Ezebilo

When I first walked through those doors, I was lured in by the posters with all the pictures on them, one from Iran and the other from Azerbaijan. All the pictures have deeper meanings than meet the eye, overall, remarkably interesting exhibits. learned a lot during the lecture portion, I did not know that music played such a significant role in Central Asia and the Middle East protest, and politics. One of the facts I found the most interesting was one of the songs “shur” was recorded and launched on the voyager I and II with 27 other songs.

The fact that so much meaning and emotion can be put into these songs surprises me. Out of the music I have ever listened to nothing has this much meaning or emotion with it. This was my first time ever seeing or hearing about a spike fiddle. It is so cool that the instrument that the artist was playing was made just for him and made for his hands. He said that the spike fiddle was part of his soul, and you could tell on the way the instrument sounded and the amount of passion he put into it when performing.

~ Andres

Another thing I was impressed by the performance is how the performer was able to make it sound like there was another person playing alongside him when he was doing his solo songs, I was in awe with how he was able to create something like that as well as another thing I focused on is how he used his hands to play the instrument, his right hand was used to strum the strings with the long stick while his left hand was used to play the strings on the instrument and some of the movement he used to play the instrument with his fingers was insane, I’m honestly surprised he didn’t need to take a five-minute break during the performance.

~ Brandon

I liked the lecture part the most because of the different topics that were talked about. I had no idea in other countries you could get arrested for making music or even dancing. I feel like my professor definitely had a lot of passion in what he was talking about and that’s what made it even better. I liked how he talked about the different struggles that the people of these various countries go through just to have a voice. I also like how there were posters of the lecture part to help get better insight into what the concert and lecture were over in the beginning.

listening to the words, I was thinking to myself how lucky I am to have the life that I do. And I want to mention again how passionate both the artist and the speaker were throughout the entire lecture and concert. The obvious passion made me want to be there honestly. I would like to thank both the artist and the speaker for putting their time and effort into spreading awareness of the harmful things people from different places around the world have to go through on a daily basis. Overall the music was beautiful and the words throughout the whole thing were very touching and educational. I learned many different things throughout this whole thing.

~ Makenzie

I want to thank Dr. K. and the performer for showing true passion for every single thing they talked about during this lecture and even sharing part of their stories and stuff that is important to their lives. I am very grateful for being able to be a part of this touching event and being able to learn about all the different sacrifices the people in different countries must make to just survive in a place they are supposed to call home.

~ Brielee

What I liked most about this concert was the words of the lecture and the English translations that were implemented throughout the entire concert to truly shine a light on the effect and meaning behind the performed songs. When Dr. K would put the songs into an English translation it gave me a completely different understanding and emotional response when listening to the music. It wasn’t just music, every song, every note, every lyric, and every melody had a meaning and a reason. No song performed was just a simple song. Every single song had a purpose, it had a reason that it was written to fight a battle someone was in.

~ Rhoden

When it comes to what was played at the concert, I can say I was truly blown away. I was not sure what to expect when I showed up, but I truly had a good time and enjoyed the music. I found it truly admirable how Imamyar Hasanov played the tunes by memory. As a person who once played an instrument, I know how much practice and dedication it takes to memories a tune. I also was able to notice how much Mr. Hasanov enjoyed playing just by his facial expressions. Both observations really made me enjoy the concert even more. I enjoyed watching someone do what they love. Another thing I enjoyed was the description of the instrument that was being played. It added more to the experience. Having background information of the instrument helped me enjoy the concert more because I did not wonder about the mechanics of it, I was just able to sit back and enjoy.

~ Acosta

The beautiful pieces that were played helped me live in the moment and helped calm my thoughts that were once going 100 miles per hour. The concert also helped me detach from my need for constant entertainment and stimulation that has been perpetuated from daily usage of my phone. Being away from my phone for only two hours and experiencing the concert

helped me immerse myself in the experience and I was able to understand the purpose of the concert.

~ Valeria

My favorite part of the concert was Imamyar Hasanov’s improvisation. He played very gracefully, and the melodies were pleasant to my ears. I also found it very interesting to see his skill and I was impressed. My second favorite part was when Dr. K joined with his instrument. I found it very cool and fun to watch my professor play such a difficult instrument. Overall, I really enjoyed the concert, and I will not forget the experience of watching such a talented, passionate musician.

~ Sarah

There were many things that I liked about the concert, as Mr. Hasanov is very skilled at his solo performances. But something that I felt truly made him distinguished, and my personal favorite part of this concert, was his very creative ways of making sounds with the Kamancheh. In one of his songs, he drew out notes with his bow so beautifully, and at the end of the last note, he softly removed the bow and waved the Kamancheh along with the sound, maintaining the note without the bow even touching the strings. It was so impressive to watch, and it truly showed his experience as a musician. Another technique that I can’t explain, as it was possibly a very advanced technique, was when he sped up and played very intensely and rushed, and managed to make a secondary sound that went slower than he was appearing to play. He managed to make it sound like two different instruments at once and that was extremely awing to me. His performance truly exuded someone with many years of experience, and with so much passion in what he does, I admire it.

~ Ozborne

From this concert, I have learned more in-depth about Azerbaijan as a country. I was able to understand more about Azerbaijanian culture through the music played by Hasanov. His expertise in playing of the Kamancheh relayed the deep emotional values of the folk songs. The boards displayed on the tables explained Iranian issues. Limits to democracy, women’s freedom, and freedom of expression truly reveal how much privilege and liberties I possess as a citizen of the United States. During the speech, Dr. Khosrowshahi mentioned the arrest of Shervin Hajipour, an Iranian student who spoke out against the violence and unrest in Iran. I felt mortified by the Iranian government’s actions. Now that I feel more aware of the issues and harsh history, I feel an obligation to do more research and look into different ways I can help or advocate for the Iranian public, especially women. From Dr. Khosrowshahi, I was reminded to appreciate my mother. I find it hard to express my appreciation and gratitude to her, but hearing the loss in his voice, and hearing the yearning in the song really had me emotional and sentimental towards my own mother. I recognized my own privilege with my freedom, luxury, and even

family in my life. I learned more about value which is something I thought I knew deeply about, but I also learned that you can experience emotion in anything.

The largest impression I received from this concert was overwhelming emotion. It is obvious that in Azerbaijanian culture, deep and moving emotion is prevalent in musical songs. Hasanov closed his eyes for every piece and performed with his eyes closed, he felt the tune and bobbed his head along. I was amazed that a singular string instrument could produce so much resonance. I could pick out a baseline, a melody, and a lot of love, sorrow, and hope. Some pieces were slightly lighter, having moments where the musician picked and plucked at the strings, displaying the bouncy sounds and bubbly symphony from the Kamancheh. Most of the songs however were melancholic with long sweet strums from the horse hair bow that created vibrato, the performer shaking the instrument, waving away the decrescendo sound. I felt chills down my spine, and my neck hair stood at the top of my neck. The piece commemorates to Dr. Khosrowshahi’s mother definitely had the most mournful tune. The entire room was full of woe with everyone at a standstill. Other songs were very cheerful and vivacious. I felt like all that was necessary next were some drums and dancers. The poetic songs held so much power and weight beneath them. As Dr. Khosrowshahi spoke in an expressionate tone, the passionate music backed his voice. The entire tone was powerful and booming.

~ Jude

And we all got to see a different side of our Professor at the end, especially when he held the paper torch out and his back foot at the same time. We knew he was a very learned man with compassion for his students but this was a new talent to behold! :) My takeaway lesson from this concert is to truly enjoy the day-to-day blessings. To not be overcommitted, living a life with so many activities that I cannot sit and enjoy

music. Dr. Khosrowshahi reminded us that we need to accept that we will fail at times., but we need to be kind, gracious, and not selfish.

~ Kowalchuk


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