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Welcome to the Georgian Harmony Association website! This organisation has been promoting Georgian folk music events since 1998.

This site was last updated on January 28th 2021.

“When we as Georgians open our mouths to sing, our eyes are already searching for other voices to join. Within our music- making, the separation, loneliness and isolation of our complex modern day existence has no place. Only our love belongs here. Through this cherished vein, we Georgians carry all that we hold dear. The bloodline of our ancestors. The heartbeat of our nation. The secrets of our immortality. It will be my honour to share our songs with you.”

Nana Mzhavanadze

CONTACT INFORMATION

For all enquiries please email Michael Bloom at : info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk or tel. 01235 536563

NB For '[at]' read '@' in email addresses (this is to prevent spamming).
Clicking on a link will open an email window to the correct address.



VOICES OF THE ANCESTORS

"Voices Of The Ancestors" is a project launched by Susan Thompson and Holly Taylor-Zuntz in October 2020 about Georgian polyphonic songs and the women who sing them. I believe men will follow later! They are producing a series of podcasts including interviews with singers and teachers together with examples of their songs. The latest, Podcast No. 6, features Magda Kevlishvili, widow of Gigi Garakanidze and daughter-in-law of the late Edisher Garakanidze who first brought Georgian singing to the UK. Amongst other things, Magda talks about the Christmas and New Year "Alilo" tradition. The podcast can be found here :

https://voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/

together with all previous podcasts and much more information about the project. There are also links to videos of Georgian choirs, including Edisher's choir Mtiebi, singing songs and performing rituals associated with them.
You can join the mailing list here to receive information when a new podcast is available :

http://eepurl.com/hhgoOf

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GEORGIAN CALENDAR 2021

*** I have now sold out of Peter Nasmyth's Georgian calendars for 2021. There will be more when he returns from Georgia but at the moment (January 2021) he is stuck there as all flights to the UK are suspended and he is unlikely to return before late February. So please email me at the info address below before ordering.***

This is the first ever National Trust of Georgia calendar and £4 from each calendar will go to help save historic buildings and countryside in Georgia. The Trust's website is here:

http://www.nationaltrustofgeorgia.org.ge/

The images show the beautiful architecture and landscape of Georgia with page titles like 'Saving a Historic House,' 'Worth Saving' and 'What Lies Beneath.' Unfortunately the Covid situation has led to increased shipping costs from Georgia so I regret that the basic price per calendar is £7 this year. Including first-class postage and packing within the UK, prices are:

1 Calendar : £9
2 Calendars sent together : £16-50
3 Calendars sent together : £24
4 Calendars sent together : £31-50
5 Calendars sent together : £39

For larger quantities and overseas orders (including Republic of Ireland) please contact : info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk
for the price.

Please order by Paypal, Cheque, or BACS transfer as follows:

1. By PayPal to Michael Bloom at this email address : michaelfbloom[at]yahoo.co.uk
Please specify that the transaction is personal and not business.
Please also send an email order to info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk with your postal address.

2. By cheque payable to "Michael Bloom" sent with your postal address to :-

Michael Bloom
36, Withington Court
ABINGDON
Oxon.
OX14 3QB

Tel.: 01235 536563

3. By BACS transfer. Please email : info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk for bank details, which will be sent individually.
When you have sent the remittance, please send an email to : info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk with your order and postal address.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Georgian singing together in physical space has sadly been on hold for the past few months, but that hasn't stopped a flourishing of online activity.

GEORGIAN TRADITIONAL SINGING WORKSHOPS WITH MALKHAZ ERKVANIDZE

Louise Moroni is organising two online Georgian singing workshops with Malkhaz Erkvanidze.
Dates and times are:

Mainly for Europe : Saturday 13th February 2021 10:00 - 17:00 GMT [02:00 - 09:00 PST, 05:00 - 12:00 EST]
Mainly for USA : Saturday 20th February 2021 10:00 - 17:00 PST [13:00 - 20:00 EST, 18:00 - 01:00 GMT]

Malkhaz, a world authority on Georgian liturgical and folk music has spent his life rescuing prayers that were suppressed during Soviet times. He is known also for his expertise in traditional folk songs from West Georgia. Malkhaz is an academic has who lectured in Universities in Georgia and has been directing Church and Folk choirs for a great many years. His life's work is a commitment to teaching singers about the unique Georgian musical system as well as traditional approaches to vocal improvisation, as handed down to him by his own teachers. Malkhaz has travelled in the USA, Europe and UK teaching non-Georgians through English language. Building on his decades of teaching experience and his dedication to transmitting the essence of Georgian Polyphony, this workshop will introduce singers not only to songs, but also to the unique practices that are essential to those wishing to acquaint themselves with traditional Georgian Polyphony.

The Cost for the workshop is €50

In recent months Malkhaz, like most of us, has been teaching his Georgian students online. This experience has informed the structure and delivery of the workshops. Students and past workshop participants have enjoyed Malkhaz's online approach and have said that Malkhaz's style was different to any other online singing workshops they had attended. They said they were very satisfied with the way Malkhaz had paid attention to each participant and how he had managed to engage each participant in a fun way. With that in mind, the workshop will begin at 10 am. At 12 midday, there will be a two hour break to allow participants to rest, digest the material covered and also to allow for some break-out interaction between participants. At 14:00 the second session will begin and will run until 16:30. The last half hour of the session will be used to record individual voice parts. Participants will need to ensure that they have a reliable internet connection. All materials for the day and the link to the online workshop will be provided to participants upon registration.

To register please email Louise Moroni at zurmukhti[at]yahoo.ie

MUST-SEE ONLINE CONCERT FROM THE TBILISI SYMPOSIUM

The biennial Symposium on Polyphony went online this year and a member of the Melbourne Georgian Choir in Australia, Roger King, had the brilliant idea of creating an online concert from videos of choirs around the world. It is beautifully and imaginatively created and well worth spending an hour watching. The pandemic even spawned three new online choirs: Coronas Kvartetti, Zoomis Sopeli (village) and Nino Naneishvili's online workshop group. You can find the concert here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HDyzR9pO64


ONLINE SINGING WORKSHOPS WITH NINO NANEISHVILI

Nino Naneishvili is leading a series of online themed Georgian singing workshops using ZOOM on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3 pm Georgian time which is 11 am. GMT (UTC). NOTE: BST begins on March 28th so the workshops on this day and thereafter through the summer will be at 12 noon in the UK.
Each workshop lasts 2 hours and costs $10, except for workshops with other teachers which are $18. Here are the dates and subjects for January to March 2021:

January

23-24 January: Kakhetian, Lazian and Megrelian Lullabies
30-31 January: Svanetian Lullabies from local performer Lika Liparteliani

February

6-7- February: Tsinuki Dadiani's creation - Ashugian songs
13-14 February: Georgian city love songs
20-21 February: Meeting with local Meskhetian performer Maro Jujunadze
27-28 February: Meeting with Gurian performer Merab Kalandadze

March

6-7 March: Georgian city/folk songs about spring (Gazapkhulda buchqis dziras; Gazapkhulda akvavilda nushi)
13-14 March: Meeting with Megrelian local singers Dimitri Kakulia and Kolkhuri Trio
20-21 March: Meeting with Gurian local performer Rebuli Mjavanadze
27-28 March: Pshavian and Tushetian folk songs

*** Nino's dates and subjects are now also on her website. You can find details here :

https://ialoni.com/show/georgian-singing-zoom-workshops-with-nino-naneishvili-local-performers/

Nino is also offering small group meetings for more experienced participants or ensemble members who want to try more improvised songs or just learn faster in a trio (3 participants). These meetings will be on Friday evenings at 5 and at 6 pm Georgian time (2 and 3 pm BST). The duration of each trio meeting will be 45 minutes and the price is $15.

For sending money Nino asks you to use transferwise. com. Please contact Nino for further information and her bank account details. When you have sent her the fee she will send the ZOOM link address. Her email is : ninonaneishvili[at]gmail.com. Nino has been to the UK several times for workshop tours and has brought her choir IALONI over for a concert tour. For further details and to hear performance examples please go to : http://ialoni.com/en/home/

I hope you enjoy these workshops, which will keep Georgian singing going at this difficult time as well as providing support for Nino and her choir.


SINGING HOLIDAYS IN GEORGIA 2020

Due to coronavirus the singing holidays planned for 2020 were cancelled but it is hoped the programme can resume in 2021. Details will be posted here when available.

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Following the sad death of Gigi Garakanidze in 2012 at the tragically early age of 30, his choir MTIEBI and youth choir AMER-IMERI are going strong and developing new material, led by his wife Magda (Kevlishvili) and other choir members. Gigi's father Edisher was one of the first teachers to bring Georgian singing to this country, and it was he who introduced many of the songs we now sing. Tragically, Edisher died in a road accident in Georgia in 1998 together with his wife Nino and daughter Marika. Gigi was the only survivor but was badly injured, and this may well have contributed to his early death. After recovering in 1999 he re-formed Mtiebi with members of Edisher's youth choir Amer-Imeri as well as some of the older members of the original choir, and put into effect Edisher's vision of a folk theatre with songs sung in the context of the scenarios in which they are used in Georgia. Gigi came to the UK several times, both with Mtiebi and alone, and some of you may have seen their excellent performances or attended one of his workshops. Gigi and Magda's son Ilia was born on Christmas Day, December 25th, 2011. He is doing well and seems to have inherited the family's musical talent.

Gigi had not only a deep knowledge of Georgian song but a gentle and open spirit. He will be greatly missed both personally and for his great contribution to Georgian singing in Georgia and abroad. Here is a picture of Gigi and Magda taken when my wife Eliso and I visited them in September 2011, shortly before Ilia was born.

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(The GEORGIAN HARMONY ASSOCIATION was started by Michael Bloom in 1998, following Edisher Garakanidze's tragic death. This website is dedicated to Edisher's memory.)