Grammy winning singer-songwriter and activist SERJ TANKIAN has released “Aurora’s Dream,” a song he was commissioned to write for the recent “Aurora Prize” ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia. Click HEREto listen and HERE to purchase the song on iTunes.
“Aurora’s Dream” was featured as the main theme song for the inaugural “Aurora Prize” ceremony, which was organized by the 100 Lives initiative to honor individuals whose actions have had an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored each year with a $100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a $1,000,000 award. Though the April event was the first official ceremony, it marked the second time an Aurora Prize has been awarded.
“‘Aurora’s Dream’ is the result of some of my best compositional efforts in years,” says Tankian. “I’m glad it was for the 100 Lives organization and for the wonderful things they’re doing with bringing attention to devastating tragedies and the real heroes that rise to the occasion, especially with their Aurora Prize events.”
An instrumental version of “Aurora’s Dream” served as the backdrop to “Aurora,” a film by Eric Nazarian that was featured during the ceremony. Click HERE to watch the animated short.
“Aurora’s Dream” follows the recent release of “Artsakh,” an acoustic song Tankian wrote in support of the people of Artsakh, a former region of Soviet-era Azerbaijan. Click HERE to listen and HERE to purchase the song on iTunes.
“These people have lived on those lands for thousands of years,” said Tankian. “They have great struggle but also great beauty written on their foreheads. The whimsical appropriation of land by an empire (Stalin) placed them under Azerbaijan. They have since gained their independence and have lived a prosperous existence for the last 20 or so years. I do not believe in wars and ultimately borders but I deeply believe in self-determination and life without oppression. Therefore it is time for the world to recognize them as the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).”
Tankian recently composed the soundtrack for The Last Inhabitant and just released the soundtrack for 1915, a film created by writer-directors Garin Hovannisian and Alec Mouhibian about the Armenian genocide, an attempted extermination of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire. From 1915 through 1923, 1.5 million men, women and children were starved, shot, beaten and banished to die in the desert during one of history’s greatest crimes. Though considered by many to be the first genocide of the 20th century, the Turkish government denies it ever happened. For Tankian, who’s worked tirelessly over the years fighting for genocide recognition, it’s a topic close to home.
With his band System of a Down, last year Tankian commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a global arena tour that included the group’s first-ever performance in Yerevan’s Republic Square.
ABOUT SERJ TANKIAN
An Armenian born in Lebanon and re-rooted in Los Angeles, Tankian was introduced to the melding of cultures, ideas and ideals from a very young age. The principles learned from this integration and adaptation have led to his understanding of the oneness of all things and have since maneuvered and transfigured into the music and art that he lives to create.
His band System Of A Down has released 5 studio albums, sold over 31 million copies worldwide, had three No. 1 debuts on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart, garnered a Grammy win and amassed a global following whose members number in the tens of millions. They’ve written and recorded 7 top 10 radio hits, 2 of which were chart-topping No. 1’s (2002’s “Aerials” and 2005’s “Hypnotize”). In 2005 System Of A Down released both Mezmerize and Hypnotize in two installments as a dual album in a single year. Each debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and on charts around the world, achieving the rare feat of having two No. 1 albums in the same calendar year. “B.Y.O.B.” (Bring Your Own Bombs) was the first single released from Mezmerize and earned the band a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Tankian has also released 5 solo albums, beginning with 2007’s chart-topping hard rock album Elect The Dead. Recent years have seen him creating musical scores and compositions for film and video game projects, including 1915, The Last Inhabitant and Hardcore, along with the video game Midnight Star. Tankian also serves as label head for Serjical Strike Records, co-founder (alongside Tom Morello) of non-profit Axis of Justice and a painter who’s feverishly created over 40 pieces of art since 2013. His journey into the world of fine art began with his Disarming Time Musical Paintings that were exhibited at Project Gallery in Los Angeles. Since then, he’s had multiple exhibitions at galleries both in the U.S. and New Zealand. His artwork was also exhibited in the 2015 grand opening of New Museum Los Gatos in Northern California.