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Armenian Women: Voices Through Song

Zulal A Cappella Folk Trio

Zulal members discuss what Armenian folk songs can tell us about young women's lives in the village.

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March 2017


Armenian Women: Voices Through Song

The Zulal A Cappella Trio is a musical powerhouse that gives life to Armenian village folk melodies through unique and original arrangements. Here, members of the trio discuss the role of women in the Armenian musical tradition. In a reality where young girls and women didn’t have much of a voice to express themselves, folk songs provided a place of refuge--a place to speak one’s mind, hopes and dreams. While these songs tell stories of daily life in an Armenian village from the perspective of young women, they are also universal in their themes as one sings a song to lull her child to sleep, another asks to be matched favorably in marriage while still others pass their working hours gossiping at the spinning wheel.


Zulal, the a cappella folk trio of Armenian-American women, takes melodies from the Armenian folk tradition and weaves intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the rural roots of the music while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and energy to these songs. Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian and Anaïs Tekerian have been singing together since 2002 and have performed in such esteemed venues as the Getty Museum, Berklee College of Music, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and Symphony Space in New York. The trio has also performed for Cirque du Soleil and the Silk Road Project, scored the film Stone Time Touch and has three critically acclaimed albums to its credit.