Kim Kashkashian brings Armenia’s leading contemporary composer to ECM New Series in a programme that also explores the roots of Armenian music. Compositions by Tigran Mansurian for viola and percussion, played by Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, receive their premiere recordings here, and frame a selection of Mansurian’s arrangements of the music of Komitas. Komitas (1869-1935) is revered by Armenians as his nation’s most brilliant songwriter. He was also more than this. Composer, priest, philosopher, poet, ethnomusicologist, collector of folk songs, writer of sacred and secular music that bridged the old and the new ... The fine line that connects the melodic character of the most ancient Armenian music with the works of contemporary Armenian composers runs through Komitas.In his settings of the Komitas pieces, Mansurian shows us the rich soil from which his own music springs.