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Ã”Â²Ã•Â¡Ã•Â¦Ã•Â´Ã•Â¡Ã•Â·Ã•Â¶Ã•Â¸Ã–â  
 

               
                   kARLEN  MATEVOSYAN
                ԿԱՐԼԵՆ ՄԱԹԵՎՈՍՅԱՆ
                               1927-2007



      


   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq2EIhOzbMc                                            
  
                      AN INSTRUMENTAL MAKER  
     "People ask me if I get sick and tired of making the same
 
instrument every day. I think this is my legacy.
 After I'm gone this will remain
"

          




     The perfect duduk, some say, is carved not in a remote hillside village
in Armenia, but, like so much of this instrument's current existence,
here in Los Angeles. Deep in the lap of a working-class North Hollywood
neighborhood, maestro Karlen Matevosyan Smbati, the 78-year-old
immigrant whom many consider to be the world's foremost duduk maker,
whiles away in a senior center, plotting and planning to create the
perfect instrument when he gets home to his neat garage workshop.
Matevosyan, a self-taught artisan who was once a high school principal,
wears glasses too big for his deeply lined face and harbors a
penchant for plaid flannel and sweatpants. In a raspy, low voice,
he says he'd always played the instrument and had never found one he
liked. The first instrument he made was for himself, and every duduk
he's since created gets the same treatment. "I always think this is
my instrument. I'm making it for me," he says through an interpreter.
"I've been studying apricot wood all my life and I've been making
duduks for more than 50 years," Matevosyan says. "If I hear a duduk,
I can often tell where the wood came from."
    To succeed as a duduk maker, you may need to know your wood but
you also must be a musician. "That's why I don't have a personal
successor," Matevosyan says. "You can't teach an artisan to make the
duduk. You must know how to play the instrument first to understand
it." But the high standards that Matevosyan set have fueled excellence
in duduk-making back in Armenia.
  "Recognizing that there are great new duduk makers and the instruments
have increased in quality, maestro Karlen is the godfather of modern
duduk making," says Pedro Eustache, a professional woodwind player
who plays the instrument for many Hollywood scores.
Matevosyan makes most of the duduk by hand, using a hand drill to form
the cylinder. It takes 42 additional steps to finish the instrument,
from drilling the finger holes to lathing the cylinder.
That's after a year to 18 months to cure the green apricot wood that
gives it the specific timbre and lasting quality. Over the course
of his career, he has sold more than 3,700 handmade instruments.
   Matevosyan revolutionized the instrument by changing the spacing of
the finger holes and enlarging the holes to get a full volume. He's
also credited with improving the mouthpiece by adding tonal control to
the reed to play half notes. "It's like the black keys on the piano,"
he says. "Now you can play more than full notes on the duduk."
Matevosyan also pioneered different types and sizes of duduks. In the
past, duduks were created in unpredictable keys. Now they represent
the four tonal ranges: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The latest of
his creations is a Hegoshu, the largest duduk, which sounds like a
cross between a clarinet and a duduk. There are four in existence,
one owned by Eustache.
   Matevosyan revolutionized the instrument by changing the spacing of
the finger holes and enlarging the holes to get a full volume. He's
also credited with improving the mouthpiece by adding tonal control to
the reed to play half notes. "It's like the black keys on the piano,"
he says. "Now you can play more than full notes on the duduk."
Matevosyan also pioneered different types and sizes of duduks. In the
past, duduks were created in unpredictable keys. Now they represent
the four tonal ranges: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The latest of
his creations is a Hegoshu, the largest duduk, which sounds like a
cross between a clarinet and a duduk. There are four in existence,
one owned by Eustache.

                           - Litty Mathew  {Los Angeles Times}

      
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We'll always remember / Heghine   (daughter)

We'll always remember
that special smile,
that caring heart,
that warm embrace,
you always gave us.
... You being there
for Mom and us
through good and bad times,
no matter what.
We'll always remember
you Dad because
they'll never be another one
to replace you in our hearts,
and the love we will always
have for you...

 
 
                
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Heghine Gegine Matevosyan
10-16-2007

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