“AMBER” IS SERJ TANKIAN’S LOVE NOTE TO ARMENIA
We’re here to offer you your daily dose of culture by showcasing talents from around the world. Today we are taking you on a trip to the vast and beautiful country of Armenia. Besides being famous for delicious food and the Kardashians, it is a beautiful country with a dark history. The multitalented Armenian singer, poet, songwriter, activist, and composer Serj Tankian dedicated his newest work to his love for his home country. The new folk/classical song titled “Amber” (meaning ‘clouds’ in Armenian) is sung in his native Armenian language together with locally famous musician Sevak Amroyan.
The song aims at making a political statement about the dire dictatorship that is tearing the country apart and causing suffering to its people. A dramatic yet enticing love song that is fueled by passionate patriotism and hopes for a brighter future.
“I was so distraught by the slick theft of the elections before ever reaching the ballot box that I wrote this song as a response. The lyrics however seem to be more poignant today when Armenians are divided politically and socially following the devastating attack on Nagorno-Karabagh and Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey in 2020 and the continuous fallout over negotiations with those two dictatorial regimes. ‘Amber’s’ message is that of unity and harmony. Those are the only truly powerful weapons of the Armenian nation.”
The down-to-earth music video is crisp and pure. No need for fancy special effects or flashy visuals to captivate the audience. The director Hrag Yedalian planned the video in a way that the whole focus simply lies on the two men and their vocals. The only addition is a young boy with a sketchbook in his hand. Throughout the video, the boy flips through the sketchbook to reveal handwritten phrases and contextual images from within the song’s Armenian lyrics. A wonderful addition for all of us who’s Armenian is a little rusty but would still like to follow along with the song. No worries a full translation of the lyrics can also be found in the comments of the YouTube video. As we reach the final notes of the song, the camera reveals crumpled-up pages that formed the map of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh (known in Armenia and the diaspora as Artsakh).
Tankian has pursued justice for many socio-political causes globally throughout his personal and professional career, often using music as a tool to inspire and unify voices for thoughtful change. “Amber” is the most recent chapter in this lifelong effort.
A serious topic commanding our attention through the passionate soul and incredible vocals of two singers. Art and music truly have the power to reach people and inspire change. Let us know your favorite example of the power of music initiating change in the world in the comments below!