By Artsvi Bakhchinyan
YEREVAN — Last August, during my visit to Venice I had the pleasure of meeting Finnish singer Sini Tuomisalu. I had corresponded by email with her for about a year because of her interest in Armenian composers and particularly, Arno Babajanian.
A pretty blond with typical Finnish features and a sweet voice, Tuomisalu is a very dedicated person, devoted to her art. Some months ago I asked her to participate in my new initiative — publishing an Armenian short story in as many languages as possible — and Tuomisalu made the Finnish translation happily. (This book, The Hands, by Armenian author Elda Grin, soon will be published in Yerevan in 35 languages). She also obligingly accepted my new request — to write an article about her interest in Arno Babajanian’s songs, which she did almost the next day and which I present to English-language readers, having the pleasure to introduce to them a new friend of the Armenians. That article follows:
It was 2004 when I moved with my spouse from Finland to St. Petersburg. We lived there for four years.
A funny thing happened once when we were in one of the St. Petersburg second hand market places. I found a cute old purse there. Had no idea about the text that was written on the front side of the purse, nor what was the building on the other side. I just thought the purse looked really nice and bought it!
It must have been sometime in 2006 when we were doing our weekly shopping in a local supermarket that my steps led me to another “touch” of Armenia! Besides buying food, I wanted to select some Russian music to listen to and was seeing through the albums of unknown artists to me. An album of singer Anna German jumped out of the mass of CDs. I thought, as this Anna looked pretty on the cover, she should sing well too! I didn’t make a mistake. In her album she sang I Love you, composed by Arno Babajanian. I immediately fell in love with this song.