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Jeff Spencer Modernist Wire Sculpture 05

Groong -- The Crane in Armenian, named after a song by the great Armenian composer, Gomidas (or Komitas), pseudonym of Soghomon Soghomonian, saviour of Armenian music, in which Spencer was immersed from birth, growing up in a Russian/Armenian neighborhood of Manhattan during the 1940s.

Groong has been recently popularized by Sona Ghazarian in concerts around the world to help the poor in her country. It was also a featured song in the dance music of G.I. Gurdjieff in Paris during the early part of the 20th century. Gurdjieff used many of the Gomidas songs in his repertory, and was an altar boy in his church before the invasion of Armenia by the Turks in 1914-15, during which Gomidas was captured and tortured.

Gurdjieff visited Gomidas in Paris at the asylum to which he had been committed, and over the course of more than a decade, compiled songs which Gurdjieff presented as Objective Music, some of which survives today. A trunkful of these scores was sold at auction with the sale of Gurdjieff's school, The Priure, and has never resurfaced.

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