gardless the fact that he is only 17, his inner soul is richer and more harmonic than one could imagine. Just like Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said, “Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.” His compositions are the words spoken from his heart mesmerizing listeners with every single played note. Our guest for No Label Business Magazine Talent page is pianist, musician, and composer Levon Aghadjanian.
evon, since when have you discovered your love towards music?
Initially I didn’t want to deal with music, I wanted to be more active. But then I went to a piano class with my mo for the first time and that’s when I started realizing that “wow”, this could actually work. I started playing and the best is when you can actually play with your feelings just like dancing, or a sport, except in sports you show self defense, while in music there’s a variety of emotions that you can show.
hy did you choose piano out of all other musical instruments? Is there something that you couldn’t find in like violin or cello?
I do play violin and viola, but I started off with piano because it really just shows all the different colors. For me, violin only shows the main colors like red and blue, but piano has the power to show colors like violet, indigo and etc.
t what age have you started practicing piano? Have you liked it from the first day or there have been up and downs?
There have definitely been ups and downs. I didn’t want to go at first, but my mom informed on how good it is so I gave it a try. Once I started playing, I noticed what a great thing it truly is to show your emotions in a whole new different way.
hat do you feel when you play piano?
I feel many things, most of which I can’t describe, however, my music can. I only write songs when words can’t explain the feeling that I’m feeling or when words can’t fully justify the emotions that are occurring. When listening to music you enter in a whole different realm with many different spectrum of emotions.
o you only play other musicians’ symphonies?
I used to play other musician’s music a lot, however, I don’t do it anymore (only sometimes upon request). I play my own music because I want to show the world my experiences, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately life.
ho has got a contribution in your choice?
My parents most definitely have made the most contributions for me. They are my life, my everything and without their help and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and ultimately where I’m heading as a person.
hy would you recommend other kids to learn to play piano?
I recommend other kids to play piano because it’s a whole new world. I want everyone to feel this magical feeling when playing any instrument. It truly is an empowering feeling in which you can’t ignore because it’s an extraordinary feeling, almost like you’re in a whole different world where you don’t want to leave.
as it hard for you to learn the language of piano?
Language of piano was hard, however, with the love of doing something, you can achieve and overcome anything. It took me a while to truly appreciate the power of music, but once I did, I’ve never felt more alive.
hat are your most favorite symphonies out of all times?
My most recent favorite symphonies are from Tchaikovsky! He really uses beautiful chords that just leave the listener’s brain hanging.
o you have favorite musicians or composers as well?
I love Jeremy Zuckerman’s music! He is more of a modern composer however all of his work are masterpieces! Listen to his new song “The Rules” from the TV series “Scream”, you’ll see what I mean.
hat do you value most in music?
I value everything about music, but the most is the ability it has to control the human brain. With one song, you can remember a thousand different memories, with one song you can create new memories, and with one simply song you can grieve, or rejoice in all that life has to offer, but let me tell you something, creating music has all those emotions magnified.
evon, do you have any other hobbies or interests besides piano?
I do have other hobbies! I participate in Kung Fu at Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy and learn self-defense which is just as important and also am part of their performance team where we perform lion dancing, and I’m also a proud dancer at Armenian Dance Academy of Las Vegas because it’s the best way to represent my culture and learn about it as well! I also play violin and viola in my school’s orchestra!
hat’s that one thing in the world that can make you the happiest person?
The one thing in the world that can make me the happiest person ever is making my parents proud. It brings me the greatest amount of satisfaction knowing that my parents are proud in what I do and bring pride to the family name!
hat’s one thing that can make you stop playing piano?
Nothing can stop me to play piano but if you said something exaggerated like to choose my family or piano then I’ll obviously choose my family first. So to answer your question, I would say family!
ow do you think being a pianist can affect other people’s lives?
Becoming a pianist can affect other people’s lives in a positive way! It lets them experience the miraculous manners of music! It’s also very therapeutic believe it or not, because it lets you understand your own emotions by defining them through music because like I said before, music brings many other colors in this world that most people have yet to discover! It’s much better when you write your own music because it feels as if it is a personalized world of emotions.
hat are your thoughts the time you compose a new composition?
I don’t have any thoughts beforehand when I write music but I do as I’m writing it. It depends also on what my music it is about. For example, for my piece “The Red Butterfly” it’s about all the pain and frustration of the Armenian Genocide. There is lots of symbolism here. The butterfly is a free, beautiful creature just like Armenia ( free and beautiful) but the red is all the bloodshed that occurred in the diabolical, unjustified event that occurred in 1915, therefore I used notes that symbolize more of a red tone. Like I said before I only write songs when words explain the feeling that I’m feeling or when words can’t fully justify the emotions are occurring. Sometimes I find myself thinking of a past memory like my grandparents and then I flashback to reality where I’m sitting on the piano. I’m like how did I get here?!
“Out of the Box”
What color would you paint the skies, if they were not initially blue?
I would still paint the skies blue because if it was any other color like red, than our emotions would subconsciously change to being angry or frustrated whereas with blue, it keeps us calm and peaceful!
Shuffle the following words in a way to make a sentence. Cow, ice cream, hypnotize, ridiculous.
The ridiculous cow thinks it can hypnotize people with ice cream.
Tell me 5 ways to use a plate other than holding food.
First you can use a plate by throwing it like a Frisbee. Secondly you can use it like a topper where you put it on your finger and spin it and try to keep the balance. Another game you can do it pour water on it with a leaf in the water and try to stir the leaf ( without using any materials) without causing the leaf to fall out of the plate. You can also grab many plates and just simply smash them, that’s always fun (laughing). Finally, you can take plates and balance stacking them like how you do with cards, once you got that down you can add other materials like cups and spoons!
Imagine you’re an alien, and just discovered the Earth. How would you make a person understand that you are starving and want to eat.
I would point at my stomach and my wherever my mouth would be if I was an alien (laughing).
What would be the first thing if you’d do, if you woke up one day and find out that there’s a time machine?
I wouldn’t want to change things because it would alter many other things and I’ve learned to appreciate things that have happened in my life but if I had to choose, the very first thing I would do is go back in time and stop the Armenian Genocide and stop all those innocent people dying somehow! It breaks my heart that this happened but it made my nation stronger than ever because we didn’t break like how they intended!
About the “Unforgettable Rain”
Levon, the last song you wrote about your grandparents is called “Unforgettable Rain”. Why such a title, and what did inspire you to write that song?
One day I was sitting by my window, and it was raining, and I had these flashbacks and memories with my grandparents that were in Armenia, and all the good times we had together. As I saw all the raindrops dropping on the window, I got inspired by their sounds and started writing the song with each note resembling a memory with them. Every note proves a point, and basically serves as a memory that I had with them. In the end of the music, you can hear this moment when there’s a pause; that’s me coming back to reality.
How is the flow of the “Unforgettable Rain”?
The music starts slowly just like it starts raining. And then as the rain progresses, I go back to the memories. Eventually they were diagnosed with cancer, and one of them was in a car accident. The “Unforgettable Rain” plays all that frustration, depression that we’ve had. At the end of the music, it flashes back to reality, and I decided to finish it, just like the rain is finished with the raindrops slowly vanishing. Each raindrop becomes a playing note at the end. The last drop is the last time I saw them.
Enjoy Levon’s “Unforgettable Rain” here.