There’s this somewhat defunct, crowdsourced music app called Radiooooo where the user can select a time period and country and hear the music that was popular there during that time. It provides snapshots from another place and era, transporting the user around the world and through time with the click of a button. Much like the Radiooooo app, the music of Azniv Korkejian, known professionally as Bedouine, is a journey through time and across continents. Echoes of past eras filter in through her voice without relying too heavily on older sounds, and never lingers too long in the past before bringing it all back to the present. Often accompanied by acoustic guitars and soft percussions, her music is a lyrical study in time travel.
Born in Aleppo, Syria, Bedouine has lived in a number of locations throughout the world, including Saudi Arabia and the East Coast of the United States. Her music is a reflection of these worldly experiences: her childhood in Syria or her life-changing move to the United States. Her voice contains the muse-like grace of Josephine Foster, along with the folk music layerings of Karen Dalton and lower-register Minnie Riperton.
Bird Songs of a Killjoy, released in June 2019, is Bedouine’s second album after 2017’s self-titled Bedouine. Her first album was a study of her roots and childhood, including a song in Western Armenian, her family’s native dialect. Absent from her second album is any semblance of anxiety around recreating herself or trying to one-up her debut album. Instead, Bedouine focuses on the journey within and where it takes her in the world.
Although much of her music is derived from her working through emotional pain, finding hope and belonging in the process, her music also shows the promise that always comes with the hurt, no matter how far one has to go to find it. For Bedouine, that’s a journey that has taken her around the world and back again.