Since its creation in 2016, the ensemble Toumanian Mek has dedicated itself to Armenian music, and most importantly to the string quartet repertoire, still very little known in the West. The group's name references one of Armenia's greatest writers, Hovhannes Toumanian. David Haroutunian, violinist and founder of the group, was born at Number One (mek in Armenian) Toumanian Street in Yerevan – hence the name of the group.
Composed of chamber musicians of renown, all performers of the vast Western musical repertoire, Toumanian Mek proposes a very individual Armenian retrospective, integrating works from popular and traditional culture.
The search for authenticity, which has motivated the group since its creation, led the musicians to draw from the melodies and dances passed on by the bard Sayat-Nova, who is an emblematic figure of the music in this region of the Caucasus.
In order to avoid that the repertoire for this first album be exclusively works for string quartet, Toumanian Mek invited the charismatic singer/composer Dan Gharibian – the unforgettable voice of Bratsch – to interpret two traditional songs from Sayat-Nova and Gusan Sheram.