Hingala - An Armenian Campfire Song Turned Electro-Rock

Hingala – 'a song for cheerful days', written in the 3/4 time signature – was a campfire tune I would sing for years as a scout. It tells the tale of a sullen shepherd, abandoned in the mountains, and reminiscing about love and better days through song.

Having practically forgotten about it, I recently stumbled upon the song on YouTube, and it took me on a roller coaster ride down memory lane. The decision to arrange, sing and play it on my guitar was instinctive and instantaneous.

The sad, yet almost paradoxically positive composition was a joy to 'rework’ and include on my upcoming, second solo album, Man Who Sold Eldunya. Produced in collaboration with Carl Ferneine (Loopstache) and Fadi Tabbal (Tunefork Studios), Hingala is the first Armenian tune I record as Gurumiran. My previous Armenian reworks include Zartir VortyagDele Yaman, and Aravod from Eileen Khatchadourian's debut album Midan.

Mastered by Vitor Hirtsch in New York, Hingala is available on YouTube as of July 1, 2017. The recording also features the voice of Sandra Arslanian (Sandmoon) while Ahmad Elkhateeb plays the riq – or Armenian daf. My longtime musical partner and violin player from NYC Delaney Stockli features too as I was lucky to steal her away for a couple of hours and lock her in the studio to lay down some tracks.

Here's a rough translation of the song in English, taken from Michael Whitney's es hay em, I am Armenian.

The shepherd forlorn in the mountains,
Played a song of love
A song for red cheeks, a song for warm eyes,
A song for cheerful days.
And came a new spring
With the beautiful flowers,
Flowers of eerie color, I love, ha, ha, ha
Flowers of every color.
But this is your lot poor shepherd
To be abandoned in this deep valley, hingala, hingala
A song for red cheeks, a song for warm eyes,
A song for cheerful days.

Wishing you cheerful days - M