for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello
Secret garden is a composition that is based on a homonymous pencil drawing by the young Armenian artist Arshak Sarkissian. I have been interested in Arshak’s pencil drawings for a while now since attending his solo exhibition at the Pharos Arts Foundation in Nicosia. Apart from the technical realization, I was also interested in the thematic approach.
Animal sounds play an important role in my works and animals play a big role in many of Arshak’s drawings. Human and animal hybrids appear often in his work, such as the humanoid creatures with bird heads, and the artist also gives great importance to the dress or hairstyle of his exotic subjects. Looking at some of these drawings, I feel that in some ways, the artist is trying to create an abstract mythology that transcends over time, combining different cultural elements to create new mythical creatures. I have found his art to be in close alignment with the imagery of Primitivism as well as my own interest in mythology, animals, and the music of previous centuries. My strictly traditional formal training together with my contemporary aesthetic outlook, the frequently used process of mixing reality with fiction and traditional techniques and methods with unique thematics, yet always leaving room for interpretation, are some of my artistic qualities that I also see in Arshak’s work.
The work is dedicated in utmost gratitude to the magnificent musicians of Klangforum Wien and also as a farewell sonic gesture to Sven Hartberger, the ensemble’s wonderful General Manager of several years.