"Confessing with Faith" is a series of prayers, written by the famous Armenian priest Nerses Shnorhali (1102-1173). Out of a total of 24 prayers, each dedicated to one hour of the day, I have selected the 7 first prayers for my work (from 1 am to 7 am).
Several years ago, in an old church in the countryside, I had the opportunity to hear the singing of an old Armenian woman. She had a beautiful voice and also the song was exceptionally beautiful, I was deeply shaken. The woman sang a traditional sacred song, but her vocal style with these strange intonations was very special. Her song corresponded exactly to the descriptions of the centuries-old Armenian sacred music, but at the same time it was personal, unique, as never heard before.
Whenever I sing the prayers of Shnorhali, I remember this old Armenian and her very brave, almost crazy singing, her well-trained voice and her deep faith. in addition, I still remember the barren, monotonous landscape in which this church stood. Every pebble, every leaf gained importance here. By the way, I love these barren landscapes a lot and feel attracted to them. in my works, I have always tried to express their strangeness.
In order to translate these feelings into my music, I chose the voice of the viola and four male voices. The viola should try, with fervor, to "recite" the confession without words, while the four male voices speak and sing the prayers in a similarly simple but resonant manner. (Tigran Mansurian)