A singer, poet, songwriter, activist, and composer; Serj Tankian has always created music as an outlet to express his thoughts and feelings with a level of passion and consciousness that few in today’s world of music can rival. An Armenian immigrant 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 that he lives to create.
Although Tankian’s professional career blossomed in the world of hard rock, the Grammy-Award winning artist best known for being the frontman of System Of A Down has ventured down many other musical paths with both critical and commercial success. Case in point is the release of the live CD/DVD Elect The Dead Symphony, which debuted at #2 on the Soundscan Classical Music charts in March of 2010.
Recorded in Auckland, New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich, Elect The Dead Symphony exemplifies a successful bridge between rock and classical music. With Elect The Dead Symphony, Tankian rearranged his acclaimed rock compositions for a full legato orchestra and the result is one that has wowed audiences with sold-out live performances throughout the world.
His latest work is his first true symphony titled “Orca”. According to Tankian, "Orca is known as the killer whale, but is really a dark dolphin, a symbolism for human dichotomy."
The four acts that comprise “Orca” were written over the past year by Tankian utilizing non-traditional approaches to classical music. Listeners are met with the mingling of sounds, intertwining pieces that are both serene and stalwart, offering a fresh interpretation to the classical art.
Besides writing and recording albums with System of a Down and as a solo recording artist, Serj Tankian is also a composer that has worked on scores for various film and TV projects.
Recently, his compositions have been featured on the Warner Bros. film Body Of Lies (starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo Dicaprio), as well as the main theme for NBC primetime series Fear Itself. Additional placement includes composing score music for the Jon Woo video game Stranglehold and the Lions Gate film Bug (starring Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.), along with remixes that have ended up on cd compilations (“Bird of Paradise” – Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project) as well as a Marc Ecko video game ("Who Shot Ya?" – Notorius B.I.G.), and licensing of songs he has produced for television shows such as the Showtime series Masters of Horror (“We Are One” – Buckethead & Friends).
Following his largely successful solo rock album debut Elect The Dead, Tankian rewrote and arranged the chart-topping songs as full orchestral compositions that he performed live with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in March of 2009. An extremely memorable show by every stretch of the imagination, the 70-piece orchestra (conducted by Hamish McKeich) and Serj performed to a packed house at the Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand.
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