What’s in a name?

I have the official name for my film documentary! Drum roll please….!

Guardians of Music: A History of Armenian Music in Detroit will replace the working title of Detroit Hye Times which is what I have been using since I applied for the Knight Foundation grant over a year ago.

William Shakespeare coined the phrase "What's in a name"?

William Shakespeare coined the phrase “What’s in a name”?

For those of you that know me, you knew that picking a name was not easy. I wanted something catchy yet giving the documentary justice and be clear to the subject matter. Detroit Hye Times, albeit some of you might have liked it, was a placeholder for me as I went on to fundraising and putting the film together.

Actually, I tormented over the name for a very long time. Part of the problem in using the word Hye (which means Armenian) in the title is it was felt by many (including me) that it might give a negative connotation and confusion to the non-Armenian audience that will view this film through PBS. Detroit Hye Times can sound like a commercial for marijuana when it is said out loud. Funny, yes…but I didnt want to take chances.

In the end, I used a simple method in picking out the name.

For several days I concentrated on dictating and writing down words and phrases that I felt represented the film. I recalled the interviews and tried to pick and choose what the musicians said to me. In the end, here are my actual notes I jotted down:

Past time
The music they loved
Out of passion
Dedicate is in preserving the music
It was never about money
They played for the dancers
The work during the day, they played as nice in on weekends
Music that described the soul of the armenians
It could have been lost forever
The musicians kept it alive
They carried the torch
They carried on the tradition, they passed on the tradition
They had fun
The music allowed people to escape their worries for a short time
The music helped create families
The music kept the community together
If created identity for the Armenians
It unknowingly preserved history
The musicians for the guardians of the music
An Armenian tradition
Passions of Armenian Dance Music
Detroit Armenian dance music
The Detroit Armenian Dance Musicians
Armenian Dance Musicians of Detroit
Detroit Armenian dance sounds

I took my list of words/phrases and asked my wife Della what she thought. It was clear to her that the word “guardian” was an appropriate word and it pays respect to the musicians and also tells the right story. As soon as she said – I knew it was the right word. It tells the story and gives them the respect they deserve.

Thanks Della! 🙂

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4 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. G. Nishan Gerjekian says:

    I like the selection and use of the word “Guardians”.

  2. Mitch & Rose Kehetian says:


    • sassouni says:

      My thought exactly! It IS perfect! And a great way to begin the New Year. Thank You, Ara, for all your continuing hard work on this labor of love.

  3. Pingback: Lasting Impressions | HYE Times

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