Canadian based Arman Ayva clears up any loose ends by declaring himself “another freaking lunatic” right off the cuff. I can’t vouch for the fact that he really is “another freaking lunatic”, but I can establish the fact that he is another typical independent artist embracing the 21st Century technological music idiom. Avya has no musical background. By day he is a suit and tie business analyst in the banking industry. In his spare time he first crossed his creative paths with the art of photography before discovering a $100 keyboard and GarageBand. “I have no intention to compete to any musician or make money out of it,” says Ayva. “I record a sound, I listen, and I like it, but I want to know if it is just me or will others like it too?”
Thus far Arman Ayva appears to be as rational and reflective as the average indie artist, except for the fact that he has no overzealous pretension or overblown expectations for mass planetary success. And maybe that rationality shown in today’s totally hyped-up musical climate makes him “another freaking lunatic”.
If all this sounds too confusing for you, maybe we should just concentrate on what Avya creates. And that is, jazz and classically induced pieces of music – piano driven soundscapes with plenty of strings, horns and driving percussion.
As in all free-flowing, free-association jazz arrangements, Ayva’s pieces do not follow the conventional verse-bridge-chorus-verse format of pop. Instead more like a water stream, his pieces, such as “R U worried?”, starts in one place, and then meanders gently into variants which grow into glistening rushes of crystalline sound.
In an era of intensively schooled jazz performers, it’s a frequent observation that a particular jazz player seems at ease playing just about any style. But if omni-competence in jazz is widespread, there’s more to covering this form of music without any musical background or hotshot technique at all. Yet Arman Ayva appears to have pulled it off.
Avya doesn’t play old jazz standards, pre-established samba shuffles or swing grooves, but his own eclectic compositions. Hence he doesn’t need to apply any respectful courtliness or knowing irony in his interpretations; instead he plays with devoted warmth, and a delicacy that comes from having lived his songs’ nuances.
Ayva develops his narrative with the most sparing of touches and sly turns, and his own compositions “R U worried?” and “Blown Away” shows his capacity to inhabit different rhythmic cultures as if he had been raised on them.
Neither groundbreaking nor experimental or solely for jazz purists, Arman Ayva’s crossover musical pieces make for pleasant listening, especially if you like instrumental music, and show nice changes of pace, tone and mood. As the man says, he is just “another freaking lunatic.”