Anatolian Sounds, A Virtual Concert of Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean Music

Anatolian Sounds is a quartet of oud, clarinet/ saxophone, double bass and hand percussion. Assembled from some of New England’s best known specialists in the music of Armenia, Caucasia, and the Middle East, this group plays with precision and passion; the care and integrity of the authenticity presented by Anatolian Sounds is remarkable and captivating. This video contains an array of songs stretching form the Caspian Sea to the mountains of Afghanistan, please join us for a sonic tour of this culturally rich region of the world.

Artist Bios

Melissa Lund is an oud player and multi-instrumentalist, originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Her musical journey began with the piano at the age of three, when she learned how to read music before she could read words. With the French horn as her primary instrument, she graduated from DePaul University. Eventually she settled in Boston, completing her Master’s degree at Boston University. After establishing a career in Boston as a professional horn player, Melissa discovered the oud and developed a passion for the music of the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Armenian diaspora. She has studied oud under the renowned Mal Barsamian and performed for audiences throughout greater Boston.

Mal Barsamian’s musical career began when he was four years old playing the dumbeg (hand drum) with his father Leo Barsamian at an Armenian picnic. Mal comes from a family of oud players starting with his grandfather, great-uncle, his uncle, and of course his father. He has gone on to become a sought-after oud player and clarinetist as well as performing on other instruments such as dumbeg, guitar, bouzouki, and saxophone in Armenian, Greek, and Middle Eastern communities throughout the country for the past forty years. He performed with the late Esber Korporcu, an important figure in Boston’s Middle-Eastern music community, and has also appeared with Mehmet Sanlikol’s Dunya organization. Mal is a specialist in music written by Armenian composers active in Istanbul during the later years of the Ottoman Empire. Also trained as a classical guitarist, he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in classical guitar performance studying with Robert Paul Sullivan from the New England Conservatory of Music. Mal is also on the applied faculty staff at Tufts University’s World Music Department, teaching oud, saxophone, clarinet and percussion. He is also an applied faculty member at Boston College and leads the Middle Eastern Ensemble at New England Conservatory of Music.

Kirsten Lamb is an award-winning double bassist, vocalist, and educator praised by the Boston Globe for her “versatility and assurance”. As a soloist, Kirsten performs original works for double bass and voice. She has debuted material at the Massachusetts State House and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and The Stone in New York City. Many prominent musicians have taken note of Lamb’s unique music, including Elvis Costello who hailed her song “Mirror Child” as “wonderful, extraordinary, [and] beautiful.” An avid educator, Kirsten maintains a double bass studio in Greater Boston, weekly teaching residencies at Horizons for Homeless Children and the Brookline Early Education Program, and performs educational programs through Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Kirsten holds a Master of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, where she was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal upon graduation for “extraordinary contributions” to the school. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance and Ethnomusicology from Oberlin Conservatory.

Fabio Pirozzolo is an Italian drummer, multi-percussionist and singer currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally from Terracina, Italy, he started his career as a folk percussionist, playing Italian frame drums tamburello and tammorra, in one of the most famous folk groups in his area. This experience gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, playing concerts and giving lectures on regional Italian frame drum techniques. A summa cum laude Berklee College of Music graduate, he performs in virtually any genre of music from jazz to world music to rock. He’s the co-founder of the world music ensemble Sawaari and Grand Fatilla and Italian folk music ensemble Newpoli where he plays percussion and sings.