Agincourt Collegiate Grad’s New CD Just Released

By Norm Nelson

Inside Toronto, Canada
July 27 2007

Toronto bar band veteran Markarian had DJ stint in university

Scarborough musician Garen Markarian, an Agincourt Collegiate grad,
has recently released a new CD.

When longtime Scarborough resident Garen Markarian released his
three-song EP last year, he managed to get some airtime on 102.1 the
Edge, Toronto’s popular cutting edge rock station, not to mention
plenty of play on university radio stations.

One of them certainly was the U of T Scarborough Campus radio station
where he was a DJ with a weekly one-hour show when he was a student
there in neuro-sciences.

Prior to that, the 29-year-old musician went to Agincourt Collegiate
Institute, in the French immersion program, and before that J.B.

Tyrrell senior public school and North Bridlewood junior public school,
all in Scarborough.

In his younger days, he delivered The Scarborough Mirror and actually
got in it a few times.

His musical talent, however, soon had him on a rock ‘n’ roll route,
forming his first band, Lud, while still at Agincourt.

His old band had an interesting bit of trivia in that it was asked
to play for a school dance at Agincourt instead of a not-yet-famous
band called Moist.

He went on to some local bar bands, Handwave in university and,
most recently, Overview.

"We (Overview) put out an album. We played pretty much every bar
in Toronto – Lee’s Palace, Horseshoe to the Rivoli, The 360 when it
was open."

Markarian’s just released, first full-length solo CD, titled Health
Crises, includes the three songs that originally attracted the
interest of 102.1, and he hopes the full-length version will make an
even bigger splash.

His own background is Armenian. The songs "are mainly rock, folk, a lot
of acoustic with a lot of world music element to it. Probably not too
out there where it wouldn’t get radio play, which I had with the EP."

Markarian, who played in the concert bands at all three Scarborough
schools he attended as well as numerous annual Kiwanis music festivals,
took formal violin lesson for about 10 years, starting at the age
of five.

"I was classically trained on violin. I did private lessons with a
Russian teacher, so it was kind of neat, but very strict."

As he grew older, he decided that becoming a classically trained
violinist was not the route he wanted to go.

He picked up the guitar – and just about every other instrument he
could get his hands on.

And you’ll find just about all of them "economically" used on his new
CD, including violin, although he stresses "it still maintains a very
indie-rock kind of (vibe), pretty relevant to today’s music. It’s
not crazy out there."

Garen, who went on to post-graduate studies at the Michener Institute
for Applied Health Sciences in Toronto, holds down a full-time day-job
downtown as a medical underwriter for an insurance company.

He’ll use an upcoming summer "vacation", however, to focus on his other
job as a musician with a planned August tour of northern Ontario and
western Canada, including gigs at Chapters and various bars.

Further ahead, he anticipates having an official CD release party in
early fall.

In the meantime, you can easily sample or order the CD on his website