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In Search of the Miraculous - Fazil Say, Alan Hohvaness, John Surman etc.

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In Search of the Miraculous - Fazil Say, Alan Hohvaness, John Surman etc.
In Search of the Miraculous - Fazil Say, Alan Hohvaness, John Surman etc.


At the core of In Search of the Miraculous, with music by Fazil Say, Alan Hovhaness, Vache Sharafyan, Siobhán Cleary, John Surman and Rabih Abou Khalil, is a search for unity. The album's various and varied parts come from as far apart as Lebanon and County Sligo in Ireland, but they share a passion to excavate deep into the musical material, as if to reveal its inner spirit. In this enchanting disc, distant musical cousins - both composers and performers - are brought together to reveal their common ground as much to complement each other through contrasts.

Ireland's EQ Ensemble strikes a balance between formal restraint and ecstatic release in Mimosa and Leylek Geldi by the English saxophonist and composer John Surman, and in Rabih Abou Khalil's soaring Dreams of a Dying City, which itself evokes its Lebanese composer's celebrated oud playing.

The Russian pianist Elisaveta Blumina brings both strong statements and mere whispers to the album, from the declamatory first chords of Turkish composer Fazil Say's Black Earth to the Armenian-American Alan Hovhaness's expansive work To Hiroshige's Cat and Sligo-based composer Siobhán Cleary's reflective, searching Chaconne. A different side to Fazil Say is glimpsed in his work for two guitars Princess of Lykia, deftly performed by John Feeley and Pavlos Kanellakis.

The revered English vocal group the Hilliard Ensemble provide a different shade entirely, with the mysterious and captivating works of Vache Sharafyan from Armenia. Helped by the measured intensity of the Hilliard's voices, as well as subtle, almost concealed, electronics, Sharafyan ellicits a beguiling texture in which the text of The Sea of Our Life is Troubling Me is magnified through song.

Personnel: The Hilliard Ensemble, EQ Ensemble, John Feeley, Pavlos Kannellakis (guitars), Elisaveta Blumina (piano)


  1. Name
  2. Fazil Say: Black Earth (1997)
  3. Vache Sharafyan: Ter, vor i mej le-rinn (Lord who makes the spring run from the mountain stones) (1996/2012)
  4. Rabih Abou Khalil: Dreams of a Dying City (1990)
  5. Alan Hovhaness: To Hiroshige's Cat (1982)
  6. John Surman: Mimosa (2008)
  7. Fazil Say: Princess of Lykia (2009)
  8. Vache Sharafyan: Tsov Kentsaghuis (The sea of our life is troubling me) ( 2003)
  9. Siobhán Cleary: Chaconne ( 2007)
  10. John Surman: Leylek Geldi (2006)
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