‘Time is a great healer’: Ian Gillan makes emotional return to site of new Armenian music school

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Ian Gillan returned to Gyumri, Armenia this weekend, site of a new music school for which he’s helped raised funds. What he’s found is a country reborn after a devastating earthquake killed 25,000 and left hundreds of thousands more homeless on December 7, 1988.

“Time is a great healer — and music is the accompaniment to that,” the Deep Purple frontman said. “We all mourn when a tragedy happens, so it’s this bond that we have with humanity that causes the pain. It takes time to heal it.”

Gillan was joined by Tony Iommi, his former bandmate with Black Sabbath, in addressing the school on Friday. They dubbed their 2010 benefit project WhoCares. Gillan also sparked the original Rock Aid Armenia effort in 1990, as well. September 20, 2014 marked the first anniversary of the N6 Music School.

“I felt in Armenia a great affinity with my natural spirit,” added Gillan, received the 2014 Friend of the Armenians Awards on May 2. “Very welcoming, very open — a great strength in the community of knowing how you are, who you are. You’re not undecided about things. You have strength. I felt very welcome.”

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