We have two strands of voice in “Taniel”: original Varoujan poetry read in Armenian, giving us a sense of the poet, his feelings and emotions through his words, and narrative poetry written by Ben Hodgson in English telling the story of the film, the connective glue between the scenes.
Western Armenian is sadly a dying language and finding our “Taniel” was a protracted task but the job we had to do first. To hear Taniel in his native tongue and dialect we needed to record this with a Western Armenian speaker, ideally from Istanbul, Varoujan’s Constantinople, the voice also needed to be the thoughts of lead actor Tigran Gaboyan our on screen Varoujan and we were fortunate enough to work with a wonderful young actor Yeğya Akgün.
Our next task was even more difficult to find the films voice, the narrator needed to have the gravitas to hold court, tell the story of a tragedy and with an emotional depth, understanding and feeling that only an experienced actor could do. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to work with one of the most respected actors in the business, Sean Bean.
Hear the snippets of both voices below: