Film explores composer’s creative path from jingle writer to the drama of commemorating the Armenian Genocide and honoring his ancestors through music
An Armenian Trilogy, a new documentary about Dan Yessian’s journey from advertising music creator to writing his first classical composition in honor of the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, has been released on Amazon Prime. In addition, his three-movement classical composition, An Armenian Trilogy – Live in Yerevan, performed by the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, is now available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. This concert is also included as bonus footage at the end of the film. Yessian is the founder of Yessian Music Inc., an international music production company responsible for creating original music for TV commercials and programs, movie trailers, video games, theme parks and memorials, including the One World Observatory at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York City.
“When my Armenian church priest asked me to create a piece of music to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it proved to be a life-changing request. I discovered the path my ancestors had taken during this dark time and I began to tell their story through music, then ultimately film,” said Yessian, who is Armenian-American. His film, in surround sound and closed-captioned in English, has been shown at festivals throughout the US and has won numerous awards including Best Score, Audience Choice and Exceptional Merit.
The Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million Armenian citizens were massacred by the Turkish Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1922, made headlines in December 2019 when the US Senate voted unanimously to recognize the mass killings as genocide and then again mid-February 2020, when the Syrian Parliament also recognized the massacres as genocide.
Yessian initially wrote a An Armenian Trilogy as a duet arrangement for violin and piano creating three movements: The Freedom, The Fear and The Faith, which debuted in Michigan in 2015. Yessian then took on the immense task of orchestrating his composition for 91 pieces, which was performed at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall by the world-renowned Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Armenia in 2017.
The documentary film, An Armenian Trilogy follows Yessian through his childhood as a budding clarinet player, the early years of his company which was started in a 200-square-foot bait shop in metro Detroit, through to the success of the international company he heads with offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Hamburg, Germany. The film centers on Yessian’s visit to his ancestral homeland of Armenia, where he and his family explore their rich heritage and the composer hears, for the first time, his composition performed by a full orchestra.
H/T Armenian Weekly