Serjical Strike/Columbia Records Releasing SERART, A 'Compelling Artistic Collaboration' Between System Of A Down's Serj Tankian & Avant-Garde Folk Multi-Instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan

Inaugural Release from Serjical Strike in Stores Tuesday, May 20

New York

SERART, the inaugural release from Serj Tankian's new Serjical Strike imprint, will be in stores on Tuesday, May 20.

Described by Tankian as a "compelling artistic collaboration," SERART brings together the talents of System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian and the avant-garde folk multi-instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan (who lent his percussion to System's multi-platinum watershed album, Toxicity). "It's not a rock album, it's not a band, it's not a solo album for me," says Serj Tankian. "It's a collaboration that I was compelled to do with a very creative artist. It's a very special type of album."

The music on SERART is both "cross genre and cross cultural," an exotic and eclectic blend of electronica, poetry, Middle Eastern melodies, Pan-African rhythms, classical motifs melded with volleys of percussion. In addition to the 16 musical tracks on the album, SERART comes with a DVD component, the 14 minute experimental film, "Sun Angle Calculator," directed and edited by Matthew Amato. "The film is a visual collage," says Serj. "The name, 'Sun Angle Calculator,' is a funny way of saying 'let me help you see the light.'"

Born in a small town near Constantinople, Turkey, Arto Tuncboyaciyan had appeared on more than 200 records in Europe before arriving in the United States, where he went to work with numerous jazz legends including Chet Baker, Al DiMeola, and Joe Zawinul, as well as a semi-regular stint with Paul Winter and the Earth Band. Arto also fronts his own group called the Armenian Navy Band.

Rock fans know Serj Tankian as the front man for the ground breaking Los Angeles band System Of A Down. System Of A Down's 2001 Breakout Album, Toxicity (on which Serj is also credited for his role as a co-producer), was named SPIN Magazine's album of the year -- among many other critical accolades -- and sold 5 million copies worldwide. Serj has also been prominent as an activist for social justice, working for positive political change through Axis of Justice, the organization he founded with Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello.

SERART finds these two, seemingly disparate, creative artists joining for a new vision. The two originally met following Arto's performance at the 2000 Armenian Music Awards. A friendship grew when Arto appeared on Toxicity (he performed on an outro track) and later blossomed into a musical partnership and the desire to expand their respective musical vocabularies, blending cultures and defying genres.

Sessions for the album took a spontaneous approach in a free form atmosphere akin to expressionistic painting on a sonic canvas. The cross-pollination of rhythms and alternating tones and scales in the album present a diversity that reflects our own globe. "For me, it was seeing that love has no nationality because to be a human being is more important. It includes everybody," Arto says. "Nationality and religion is just seasoning of the human taste."

"SERART is the art of love and the love of art....together," Serj asserts. "It's a visual journey and it's an emotional journey."

  For press materials online, please visit: www.sonymusic/b2b

SOURCE: Serjical Strike/Columbia Records

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