2015 is a big and beautiful baby.

And we are young again.  And we are old.  And in between, so much wisdom.  This year my partner of ten years, Melissa, and I had a baby.  It shook open the foundation in the most beautiful of ways.  We are reminded that this life is one of service.  First the song (for me) and then each other.  And then, most assuredly, back to song.  Can't wait to see what is created out of this love.


2014 so far

Daytrotter, Fearless Radio, Great South Bay Music Festival, touring, The Huffington Post, Chris Atamian at Beacon, poetry readings, and love.  That's the news since the last post.  Thankful.

The Great South Bay Music Festival & Other Summer Shows

www.greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com is one of the biggest festivals in the region.  Alan performs on Saturday evening with Andrew Livingston on cello.


For other summer shows, check out the calendar.

Quiet Songs for Loud Times

NewSong Recordings partners with New York singer-songwriter Alan Semerdjian to release his forthcoming album ‘Quiet Songs for Loud Times’

by NewSong Music on May 31st, 2013


May 31, 2013. Asheville’s NewSong Recordings label is excited to announce the forthcoming release of Alan Semerdjian’s third solo record, Quiet Songs for Loud Times (NSR 1302). The album’s June 28 release will coincide with Semerdjian’s New York CD release show that evening at Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side. 

quiet_coverAlan Semerdjian’s work seems to find its way to those who want a little more out of the music they let into their lives. Perhaps its his insistence on doing things his own way, and staying true to his vision of the world, one informed by years of creating art, writing essays and poems, and teaching high school English in and around New York City. 

After 20 years of making and releasing music on his own in a myriad of bands and genres, Semerdjian has partnered with Asheville, North Carolina’s NewSong Recordings for his latest release, Quiet Songs for Loud Times (Summer 2013). The collection of deeply personal songs is his response to the changing world around him and, on a broader level, the complexities that challenge our society as a whole. “In many ways, this is a record about growing up,” says Semerdjian, “and realizing that what we imagined adulthood would look like isn’t necessarily what it ends up being…and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”  On the new partnership with NewSong Recordings, Semerdjian adds, “I’m excited to work with such a reputable label whose priority is integrity and getting quality music out to new audiences.”

Quiet Songs for Loud Times is mixed by Mike Bloom (The Elected, Rilo Kiley, Julian Casablancas), who has worked with Semerdjian on his previous two releases (2005‘s When There Was Something Wrong With You and 2009’s The Big Beauty), and features appearances by Aram Bajakian (Lou Reed, Diana Krall) on electric guitar, Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson) on bass, Dave Diamond (Assembly of Dust) on drums and percussion and Matt Iselin on piano and organ.  The team succeeds at constructing a mature and artful intimacy that is consistent with Semerdjian’s distinct aesthetic while striking notes familiar in modern folk music, indie and art rock, and Americana traditions. The result is a stunningly beautiful album in both sound and sentiment, finding Alan Semerdjian at the top of his craft.

- To pre-order the album, visit bit.ly/quietsongs

- To download the pdf one-sheet, click here.



“An impressive contemporary sound – rich, textured songs and poetic lyrics” – Relix

“I’ve long been enamored of Semerdjian’s unique blend of music, poetry, and performance art…his latest evokes a visual response apropos of his soulful introspection.” – Jeremy Newberger, Ironbound Films

“Seriously dreamy pop rocker.” – Jim Testa, Jersey Beat

“A journeyman singer-songwriter, Alan’s take on our culture spans the depth and breadth of the many collections of styles that make up rock & roll, and true Americana.” – Jim Faith, Creator, Great South Bay Music Festival

“I’ve long been enamored of Semerdjian’s unique blend of music, poetry, and performance art…his latest evokes a visual response apropos of his soulful introspection.” – Jeremy Newberger, Ironbound Films

“One of the best albums I’ve received all year” – John Platt, WFUV (on When There Was Something Wrong With You)

“Required listening from an essential talent” – Wildy’s World on The Big Beauty


Media Contact:

 Ford Willis

 NewSong Recordings

828 232-4314, x303

2012 Mountain Stage Newsong Contest

Ok.  So here I am incredibly honored for a few reasons.

1) Mountain Stage (a pretty fantastic music series affiliated with NPR and good beautiful things of that sort) has this songwriting competition that I've peripherally admired and watched folks I know enter and advance in, and I've entered it, see (which is kind of strange because I don't normally enter these types of things), and I've managed to advance to the regional round.

2) There are some pretty wonderful and innovative songwriters in each region, so digging into their music through the Newsong website has been grand in and of itself.

3) You reading my news.  I'm honored for that.

I'd love it if you could cast a vote...for anyone, really, but it would be really great if it were me.  I'd be honored for that too.

Thanks for all the great support.


New Album - Fall 2012

Working hard with Michael Musmanno in DUMBO (mostly).  Special guests include Mike Bloom, Dave Diamond, Matthew Iselin, Chris Kuffner, and Aram Bajakian.  Trying on the title Quiet Songs for Loud Times right now...feels about right.  Can't wait for you all to hear it/have it.

And big thanks to Ironbound Films for making the first music video for the album...the song "For Blackbirds." Coming soon.

2012 - the news

Alan Semerdjian is in the middle of writing songs that will most assuredly be included in a new release...hopefully in 2012.  Look for a west coast tour this summer.  If you haven't read his poetry (a serious lyrical and experimental exploration of identity, history, and memory), you can at www.genpopbooks.com.  You can also read his prose at www.lipulse.com.

summer summer 2011

Look for dates with my good friend Mike Bloom in early August + other great gatherings like The Great South Bay Festival and a reading of GenPop authors in NYC in July. It's all on the calendar feed...make sure you click on the FULL FEED feature on the bottom of our home page. Yes.

Fall/Winter 2010/2011

Big show on Long Island this November. Other than that, it's writing writing writing. See you in the new year! Thank you for the love and support.

Spring 2010 update

Anyone want to host a house/living room concert? Contact me at alan@alanarts.com. Two are in the works already and more to come. Thanks GenPop Books (and all of you who helped make the book what it is) for putting out In the Architecture of Bone as well...what a great literary ride it's been. Again, more to come. Stay tuned for a big summer show or two in the NYC area. Thanks for the continued support, people. This is all for you/us.

Fall 2009/Winter 2010 Update

So the music will slow down for a while, good people. Big thanks for all the great shows of love for The Big Beauty over the past few months. After the October 30th fundraiser for the AGBU at NYC's Canal Room, I'll be concentrating on promoting my first full-length book of poetry, In the Architecture of Bone (GenPop Books 2009). The poems deal with growing up hyphenated-american, reconciling the very unreconciled armenian genocide, and my grandfather, the cubist-impressionist painter Simon Samsonian. For more information on this, see www.genpopbooks.com. The Big Beauty is available at iTunes and CdBaby.com. Get in there. Hope to see you at a reading down the line... love, as

sweet summer 2009

What a summer so far. The Big Beauty Summer Tour is grand...big shows and small shows and a few in between. Seeing great friends along the way always is a plus too. Thanks to Portland, Maine Community Radio (Jeff!) and Portsmouth Community Radio (Chris G. and Terry!) and Shenecteday Today (Richard G. and Jack!) for some special community broadcast shows... Stay tuned for LA next month and a few more shows in September before slowing the music down and getting set to release my first full-length book of poetry... Thanks for everything...especially for reading this. ::::as

Thank You Chris Bro, NEXT, and 107.1 The Peak

Dear Diary, So I'm back in Huntington, NY for the day browsing through the aisles at Book Revue (one of the truest indie bookstores in perhaps the nation) and one of the employees there, Kevin - a real kind guy whom I've known peripherally for quite a while - tells me that it was real cool to hear me on the radio the other night. He goes on to tell me that it was 107.1 FM The Peak, and immediately I think that I haven't thanked Chris Bro and his NEXT show on the Peak. He's what I call a "super music guy"; he's made it his mission to do good for music lovers and musicians for his stay here on earth. I got in contact with him through a real great songwriter and friend named Neil Nathan. We played a show together for NEXT up in Stamford, CT. Great folks, great music, lots of pool tables (the place was called Rack N Roll) and the magic of Chris Bro, the wonderful wizard of indie rock. Check out his webpage for the program: www.nextmusiconline.com/8 Look for Alan Semerdjian on one of his playlists after a Flaming Lips cover of Madonna's Borderline...Neil Young comes after me...yes, he makes some pretty great mixes too... Thanks again Chris! and Neil for making the connection! I'm hoping to connect with NEXT soon...

Vote for "Can't Wait"

Hi. The music video/public art project for my song "Can't Wait," directed by Haik Kocharian, is being aired as part of a contest on Indi Music TV, a program on WLNY (channel 10 or 55-depending on where you live), a TV station in the Long Island/New York City area. The video is on at 2:00am tonight 4.03.09 (Friday night/Saturday morning), and the voting begins after the video is aired. It would be awesome if you could vote for this several times (once per day) over the next week. Registration is super easy. Here's the link: http://www.indimusictv.com/season02/watchandvote.cfm. Thanks so much in advance. Please pass the link around and tell friends to vote. It would be a big win for me and unusually beautiful music videos in general if "Can't Wait" won. You're the best. ::::alan

New News

So the new The Big Beauty CD is released and available on iTunes, and while there are no official reviews yet from any major regional/national publications yet the feedback on a local level has been awesome. The music video too has been well-received and is up for an award in a music video contest on Indi Music TV. More on that later. Stay tuned for summer touring dates too - NYC, LA, Boston, Philly, among others. Appreciaton!

The Music Video and Other News

The new CD is officially released, but it will take a little while for it to appear on itunes and amazon and cdbaby and other digital music stores. You can grab mp3's from Digstation though: http://www.digstation.com/AlbumDetails.aspx?albumID=ALB000027063 And if you haven't checked out the music video/mini-documentary/ short film for my song "Can't Wait" directed by Haik Kocharian, check it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEAq35TRG5M We got a whopping response that blew me away. I hope you send it to your address book and turn other people on to it. Perhaps people can post comments stating what it is that they (you) can't wait for? Stay tuned beautiful people. Real music and art will continue to exist as long as there's folks like you out there who support it. Thank you.

What is The Big Beauty?

The Big Beauty is what we're calling the new batch of songs that Alan Semerdjian is currently shopping around. And what exactly is The Big Beauty? It's a group of songs that explores what it means to be in a relationship - the good, the complex, and, of course, the beauty. We're all a part of The Big Beauty in one way or another and, in fact, we're all big beauties...each and every one of us. Several incredible people came together to create The Big Beauty and they are: Mike Bloom (producer and multi-instrumentalist) Philip A. Jimenez (additional production, multi-instrumentalist) Matthew Cullen (engineer, The Clubhouse, upstate NY) Brian Blackburn (additional engineering, acoustic guitar) Matthew Iselin (pianos, organ, wurlitzer, keys) Dave Diamond (drums, percussion) Christopher Kuffner (bass) Melinda Hirsch (viola) Maureen Keenan (flute) Rebecca Perea (cello) Franz Nicolay (accordian, tack piano) Jivan Gasparian (duduk) Daniel T. Levin (trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium) David Moyer (baritone sax) Melissa Menake, Blaire Eltringham, Scott Bloom, Jenelle Kunz, and Casey and Olivia (backup vocals, claps, and great energy) Alan Semerdjian is doing a residency of showcases at The Living Room during the month of September (every Tuesday at 9pm except the 16th) to promote the new songs to friends, family, fans, and industry. Songs from The Big Beauty can be heard on Alan Semerdjian's Fan Page on Facebook, myspace.com/semerdjian or right here on alansemerdjian.com. Free downloads will be available at the shows in September. See you soon, you big beauty.

The New Record is Done

It features 14 songs, 11 of which are completely new... Mike Bloom handles production (with Philip Jimenez and Brian Blackburn helping out), Philip Jimenez, Mike Bloom, and Matthew Cullen handle the engineering, and Fred Kevorkian mastered it. More news to follow + website updates and much much more...


Here's what it looks like so far for the new record: CAST: yours truly on acoustics and electrics and pipes Matthew Cullen in THE CLUBHOUSE in upstate NY for the basic tracks Philip A. Jimenez for tracking all sorts of goodies and final mixes on a bunch of the tunes Mike Bloom mixes and lap steel and banjo and electric and programming and what else? Dave Diamond on drums Matt Iselin on assorted keys and piano Chris Kuffner on bass Franz Nicolay on accordian and tack piano Melinda Hirsch on viola Rebecca Pereira on cello Maureen Keenan on flute and Mr. Brian Blackburn? and FS for the mastering? and investors? label support? We're all looking forward to this one at the alan semerdjian camp...hopefully so are you.

Fall and new songs...

I'll be playing select shows in the NYC area to highlight some new songs I've been working on. The plan is to figure out how recording is going to happen by the spring...let me know if you have any ideas...

Spring/Summer 2006

Thank you friends and fans and family for continued support. It's pretty amazing how (when you least expect it) this making-of-art business brings people together and we all grow and mature and love and start figuring things out and discovering new questions... Shows in NYC (Makor and Living Room) in the spring and summer touring in little cafes, bars, and performance spaces near you (maybe?). Itunes and Cdbaby and other digital music stores carry the new CD. Or pick one up at the next show... Thank you WFUV.

Who takes many of Alan's Photographs?

If you like some of what you see on this site and on alanarts.com, please contact Peter Ragona at arete@optonline.net.

some relevant information

some relevant information on alan semerdjian · Alan used to front the alt-pop indie-rock outfit SURREAL in the 90’s. · SURREAL was too indie for the hippies and too hippie for the indies but, nevertheless, was able to gain college and commercial radio success, television credits, and regional touring. · Alan is a poet and essayist with numerous print and online publication credits. His chapbook of poems is called “An Improvised Device” and is published by Lock n Load Publishing. · Alan’s new cd, “When There Was Something Wrong With You,” is produced by Phil Jimenez from Wheatus and Gordo Gringo, Michael Bloom from Rilo Kiley and The Elected, and Brian Blackburn from the “clandestine” studio at The Sunset Marquee in Hollywood, CA. · A song of Alan’s appears in a little-known short film entitled “Whatever We Do,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Tim Roth, and Amanda Peet, produced by Toby Maguire and written and directed by Kevin Connolly. · Alan is a high school English teacher and leads writing workshops for teens on Long island and New York City. · Alan does some tutoring. · Alan has over ten years and 800+ performances worth of touring experience on small intimate stages across America. · Alan collaborates for experimental hybrid soundscapes with poets and free jazz musicians attempting to serve as a conduit between the entertainment world and its vast continuum and the glowing complexities of academia. · Alan is an Armenian-American. · Alan has an MFA in Poetry from Goddard College. · Digital homes for Alan’s work (press, bios, images, etc.) can be found at www.alanarts.com, www.myspace.com/semerdjian, www.music.download.com/alansemerdjian, www.sonicbids.com/alansemerdjian, and by google searching “alan semerdjian”. · Alan’s grandfather was a cubist painter and genocide survivor – a very serious painter and beautiful man. · Alan layers several hundred printed or handwritten words on a piece of paper and calls it artpoem. · Alan used to be the caretaker of The Walt Whitman Birthplace and co-curated an arts series there called “The Body Electric.” · Alan flirts with being a performance artist (he loves public displays of art or art in public). · Alan is afraid of balloons. · Alan is in a relationship with a wonderful lady named Melissa. · Alan is an only child. · Alan believes art is about entering a conversation.

The New CD

Alan Semerdjian's new catalogue of songs "When There Was Something Wrong With You" is currently available through www.cdbaby.com.

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