Lebanese born, of Armenian origin, musician, composer, world traveller - Abaji’s incomparable knowledge of world music is born of real encounters, intimate exchanges with musicians all across the globe. Music is his passion - inspiring his personal collection of more than 500 instruments. And he can play them all!
The Story of Blue Shaman
Oh the encounters… That’s all it is!
After my trip to Armenia and the recording of Route&Roots with my Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian friends, I resumed my travels and concerts throughout this beautiful world (which we regret very much today...). One such trip was Glasgow, Scotland, its whisky and its music! There I meet Donald Shaw, musician, composer and director of the Celtic Connections festival. Magical encounter, musical encounter: if my strange instruments could meet his accordion, it would be quite good, I say to myself…
Among musicians of this tradition, there is a blower that interested me a lot: Michael McGoldrick, known to accompany, among others, Mark Knopfler. His mastery of flutes and the Uilleann Pipe is of a rarely equaled level. We didn’t know each other, but Donald told me, if I’m on board, well he’ll be too!
So I then find myself, the Greek-Turkish-Syrian-Armenian-Lebanese of France, guest of the Celtic Connections 2020 Festival! I take the opportunity to rent the studio that Donald advises me in Glasgow and that’s how the story begins!
Blue Shaman was recorded in three days, on the spot, always in my way: one take and no corrections. Donald and Mike are present on 4 tracks: again in single takes! The magic of the sounds, the marriage of the desert and the icy waters, the encounter between a southern man and two Vikings curious about his instruments and his strange musical ideas, operates !
I actually recorded about thirty songs during these three days, then I had to choose from among them sixteen tracks for the album to tell the story of the Blue Shaman on this new path to the North!