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SINGING IN EXILE a film by Nathalie Rossetti and Turi Finocchiaro

  • Nevart Gulbenknian Hall Iverna Gardens London, England, W8 6TP United Kingdom (map)

Aram and Virginia, an Armenian couple from the diaspora, transmit an ancestral tradition of chant which is in danger of disappearing to a troupe of European actors. During the process of creating a new play, the couple takes the company on a trip to Anatolia where the Armenian civilization has been destroyed. Along the way, the questioning of the actors brings to the forefront the wealth of this culture:  the chant becomes a language of creation and sharing, the breath of life.

An initiatory journey where the sounds, the music, the words, the bodies and the cries impart a memory and a future.

Admission: £10 to include a wine reception.


Turi Finocchiaro and Nathalie Rossetti are independent filmmakers. Turi Finocchiaro directs a small production company, Borak Films, and Nathalie Rossetti has participated in the Jungle Film of Basile Sallustion since 2005. Turi is from the documentary film world while Nathalie is more from the world of fiction. As documentary filmmakers, their interest is in artistic, historic and anthropological subjects. They have made many films, including Yiddish Soul and Luce's Besa: Against Blood Justice.

Akn, the Centre for Armenian Modal Chant Studies was founded in 1998 in Paris, as the continuation of the Akn choir’s experimental work since 1990. The Centre teaches traditional Armenian modal chant, by means of oral transmission. Akn publishes also CDs and books on these topics.


Virginia Pattie Kerovpyan was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Paris in the 1970's. She has performed and recorded with various early music ensembles, as well as contemporary music. Soloist of the Kotchnak and Akn ensembles, she has specialized in Armenian song since 1980. Her interpretation brings to the forefront the essence of this music making its discovery and transmission more accessible.

Aram Kerovpyan was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He learned to play the kanoun and studied the Near Eastern music system with Master musician Saadeddin Öktenay. Moving to Paris, he joined the Kotchnak ensemble, performing Armenian folk and troubadour music and in 1985, established the Akn ensemble specializing in Armenian liturgical chant. He is the master-singer of the Armenian cathedral in Paris since 1990. He is active in the world of theater as musician, teacher and composer. He holds a PhD in musicology and publishes about modal theory and history of Armenian liturgical music.

To watch the trailer with English subtitles, please click on the link below: