I write this as the sound of electric violin from the track Novus Ortus blasts from the CD player. These warm and enchanting rhythms sound all too familiar from the concert that took place this Friday the 15th of April. In celebration of his newly released album EPISODE, composer and electric violinist AVO DEMIRDJIAN from Lebanon performed to a large crowd at Demco Steel, steel factory turned into a concert venue by night, in Beirut. Proceeds from the event went to the non-profit organization the Armenian General Benevolent Union AGBU Lebanon.

The opening act of the show was played by Madinat (meaning city in Arabic).

Madinat2A fresh Rock band from Lebanon used to be known under the name of Dirty Enzyme before the name was changed to Madinat. Featuring Anthony Atwe on the bass guitar, Philippe Dib playing drums and backing vocals, guitarist and vocalist Joseph Abboud as well as keyboardist Ayman Zebdawi. While their tracks might be a little repetitive and this is probably the only shortcoming of the music, the crowd seemed to have enjoyed their lively performance and had no trouble at all bouncing to their songs. Check out here one of the original tracks that they played in their Friday gig:

Following Madinat, Avo Demirdjian played alongside musicians Rany Battikh (bass), Ralph Choueiri (drums), and Karim Abi Saleh (guitars). All tracks of the album EPISODE having the same title of his recently disbanded group EpiSode were performed. The term ‘episode’ refers to the different life stages that an individual goes through, and therefore each track represents one phase. The first track Novus Ortus (meaning in Latin new birth) is an epic introduction to this life embrace. The second track Age of Avo (1)Innocence represents childhood. The third track and Avo’s hit I am Divine rocked the crowd who seemed to have been waiting impatiently for this song to be played. The song following it, Once, speaks of love, one of the most powerful energies in an individual’s life. Avo sweetly dedicated this song to the love of his life, his sister. The fifth track, All that Remains, is a very intense piece that speaks in its music about living in old age. Memento Mori, the title of the sixth track meaning in Latin “Remember that you must die”, is a classical saying meant to remind us of our own mortality. The last one, Funeral March, the longest piece on the album, is self-evident in its title. After Avo and the supporting musicians were done performing the album and announced the end of the concert, they decided to play I am Divine again due to the crowd requesting an Encore. It was no surprise that people wanted to hear more, for indeed Avo’s violin electrifies the stage and his dedication to music is evident as he playfully switches from violin to strings as if it were as effortless of an act as walking.

If you happen to have missed this concert, then consider making up for it by checking out Madinat and Avo’s music online.

Avo Demirdjian’s album EPISODE is on sale now on iTunes and in all Virgin Megastore branches in Beirut!

You can enjoy the second single, “I Am Divine”, from the album “EPISODE” in the video below.

Photos by: Dhalia Noir and Tarek Sekkar

– Dahlia Noir

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