Buki (Georgian Folk Instruments)

April 23rd, 2019

Buki is a kind of wind instrument that represents a long brass pipe. It originally comes from the north-west part of Georgia, the region of Svaneti. Inside the funnel-shaped part of pipe, up to first part it is inserted wooden stem, (trunk), and in the second part of pipe it is inserted copper trunk. Length of the instrument is 1270мм, diameter of a funnel 220мм, and diameter of a blowing place is 28мм.

It is thought to be battle instrument. In the poem of great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli “Knight in the panther’s skin” it is brightly shown that during crowning the king it was accepted “to beat” (to play) on Buki. For example, when Rostevan has appointed Tinatin sovereign, we read “Here Buki began to sound and cymbals embellished their sounding”, or “they struck Buki and crowned the Queen”. From set of historical sources it is possible to allocate Iranian “Visramiani”, in which is described how sounds of Buki pealed out when Ramin was going in military campaign.

Mostly, Buki was played in military campaigns. I.e. it was used in military operations and served as the alarm tool. Buki issues a very deafening (stunning) sound, particularly, it was played for this reason. by this sound solders were informing everyone about the beginnings of military actions, if the enemy came nearer or if the armies had to prepare for approach. In XII century this tool belonged the group of military tools.

The first historian of Queen Tamari’s period told, that when army have returned from Iran after victorious campaign to Georgia , the Queen met them solemnly: “Buki was making noise and cymbals were thundering”. Certainly, and then they well understood, that a sound of Buki was very strong and deafening. But sound of Buki during a feast basically expressed a celebration. This circumstance is well shown in the poem of Shota Rustaveli: “Buki and Cymbals were played to increase the sound of ring”.

In Samegrelo Buki was played on great holidays. For example, after celebrating mass when blessing water on a holiday of Easter, – all people went to nearest river to take part in this liturgy. Ahead of all went a clergyman, which held a flag, and behind him went two “Mebuke” (man playing on Buki) and the whole people.


March 26th, 2019

Iveria are a group of men who sing Georgian liturgical and folk music. The group was originally formed as an offshoot of the Yale Russian Chorus in 1985, when a few members decided to further pursue the music of the Republic of Georgia. We are based in the greater Boston area, and have a sister group based in New York state, the Kartuli Ensemble.

Jim Sloan – Conductor, and First/Second Tenor; John Burt – First Tenor; Mark Little – First Tenor; David Gillman – Second Tenor; Sam Kendall – Second Tenor; Matthew Abbate – Second Tenor; Glenn Allin – Second Tenor/Bass; Marc Butler – Bass; Aram Hollman – Bass; Endre Jobbagy – Bass; Hugh Olmsted – Bass.

Iveria Concerts:
Sunday, 1 March 1998 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Belmont Chapel, 10 Ledgewood Place, Belmont, Massachusetts

Saturday, 21 March 1998 Silver Spring Unitarian Universalist Church; 10309 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring (Hillandale), MD

Friday, 24 April 1998 NEFFA (in Natick Room), Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Thursday, 24 September 1998 Festival of the Arts, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Farber Library, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Saturday, 7 November 1998 NOMAD (Northeast Organization for Music And Dance) Festival, Newtown High School, Newtown, Connecticut

Sunday, 28 February 1999 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Belmont Chapel, 10 Ledgewood Place, Belmont, Massachusetts

Wednesday, 14 April 1999 WBRS, Brandeis Radio station WBRS, 100.1 FM

Friday, 23 April 1999 NEFFA, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Thursday, 23 September 1999 Festival of the Arts, The Stein, Sherman Student Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Saturday, 25 March 2000 Arlington International Cultural Fair, Town Hall, Arlington, Massachusetts

Friday, 14 April 2000 NEFFA, Music Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Saturday, 15 July 2000 Middle of Martin Meadow Pond, Lancaster, NH

Wednesday, 28 March 2001 Festival of the Arts, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Farber Library, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Sunday, 22 April 2001 NEFFA, Music Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Sunday, 10 June 2001 Hale House
Sunday, 17 June 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, 165 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215

Saturday, 6 April 2002 Francis Thompson Room of the Bapst Library, Boston College

Wednesday, 17 April 2002 Part of the Festival of the Arts, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Sunday, 21 April 2002 NEFFA, Chorus Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Sunday, 28 July 2002 Middle of Martin Meadow Pond, Lancaster, NH

Saturday, 26 April 2003 NEFFA, North Star Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Sunday, 7 March 2004 Jamestown Library, 26 North Road, Jamestown, Rhode Island

Saturday, 9 April 2004 NEFFA, Lyric Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Saturday, 24 April 2005 NEFFA, Natick Room, Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick, Massachusetts

Sunday, 30 July 2006 First Parish Church in Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, Massachusetts

Trio Zari

February 24th, 2019

Zari is a new and exciting trio of singers/ instrumentalists who specialize in the music of the Georgian Republic. In early 2003 Shalva Makharashvili, Andrea Kuzmich, and Reid Robins, members of Toronto’s 12 voice Georgian choir, DARBAZI, joined forces to concentrate their efforts on the exquisite harmony and complex polyphony of this ancient music. By turns exotic, lyrical, and powerful, ZARI brings to the stage three accomplished artists who embody the tradition and improvisational interplay of one of the world’s most beautiful musics in it’s most transparent form; the vocal trio.

Shalva Makharashvili

A Georgian native, has been performing the music of his homeland for 20 years. Starting with the panduri (a 3-stringed indigenous lute) at the age of 4, his musical education included training in voice, tradition and classical choral repertoire, classical guitar, and traditional dance. As a young man he toured Georgia and the former Soviet Union as a soloist in the choir Chakrulo. In 1997 he was invited to join Hereti, considered by many critics to be the foremost musical ensemble in the Caucasus. Featured as a vocal soloist, panduri and guitar player, he regularly performed to sold-out concert halls for the public, for diplomats, politicians, and visiting dignitaries. Shalva’s contributions as a soloist and an instrumentalist have won him national acclaim. Due to the political and social unrest in Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union Hereti disbanded in the late 90′s: Six of its members found their way to Toronto, received political asylum, and regrouped to make their Canadian debut in December of 1999. Since that time Hereti has performed in concert and on radio, most recently for CBC’s Fresh Air, This Morning, and Sounds Like Canada (with Sheila Rogers). In 2001 his love of Georgian music, and his respect for the Canadians who sang it, led him to accept an invitation to join Darbazi, Canada’s only Georgian Choir. He has shared his expertise and been a central contributor ever since. In ZARI, Shalva has found two ‘foreign’ colleagues with whom to share Georgia’s technically daunting, majestic trio music, a fact that has filled him with joy, surprise, and pride.

Reid Robins

He has had a long and varied career as a singer, composer, and instrumentalist. Formally trained at Berklee College of Music, California Institute of the Arts, and Harvard University, Reid began his love affair with singing at the age of 10 on the stage of Toronto’s Massey Hall with the award winning children’s trio Owen Boulevard. A precocious fascination with polyphony, harmony, and composition soon took root in the study of Bach, North Indian classical music, the Beatles, jazz improvisation, and electronics. Reid has had the privilege of collaborating with some of the finest musicians in contemporary, modern jazz, and world music. Among these are saxophonist/composer John Zorn, guitarist Brian Katz, percussionist/pianist Bill Brennan, bassist/composer Jack Vees, saxophonist/composer David Mott, vocalist Susan Judy, composer John Oswald, tabla master Taranath Rao, trombonist Vinko Globokar, composers Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, and Louis Andreissen. Reid’s compositions for the concert stage have been performed across NorthAmerica, in Great Britain, France, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and Japan. He has also been a recipient of many awards.

Andrea Kuzmich

Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings. By the age of 16 she had sung in four different Canadian Opera Company productions and performed as a cellist with the McMaster Symphony Orchestra. However, it wasn’t until she discovered vocal jazz that her genuine musical personality began to emerge. Hungry for all forms of musical stimuli, she sang with a Congolese Gospel Choir, studied Bulgarian and Macedonian folk music, performed with a Jazz band in Toronto’s inner city streets, busked in the subways, and discovered the haunting, ancient harmonies of Georgia. Her formal education at York University won her the Ella Fitzgerald award for Performance in Jazz, as well as the Saint Thyagaraja award for performance in South Indian music (studies with Suba and Trichi Sankaran). On the free jazz scene Andrea has performed with Cecil Taylor’s long standing trumpeter Raphe Malik, the late Glen Spearman, and New York’s Sabir Mateen. In 1999 she participated in the Banff International Jazz workshop, singing with such greats as Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Hugh Fraser, Dave Holland, and Kenny Werner. She’s regularly heard on jazz radio as the featured singer of Swing’s Mistress, Whitney Smith’s Big Band CD, as well as her own CD entitled Kooz’s Blues. Andrea performs in a variety of jazz combos, teaches voice, and leads a children’s world music chorus. Her long standing love and excitement for Georgian music has been deepened considerably by the emergence of ZARI as a performing ensemble.

Tsintsila (Georgian Folk Instruments)

January 23rd, 2019

Tsintsila is an ancient Georgian percussion instrument that represents a couple of oval plates with handholds. During archeological excavations in a sepulchre near the territory of castle (“Modinakhe”) a couple of plates (i.e. “Tsintsila”) were found with other relics. The sepulchre is thought to date back to the IV century A.D. The similar instruments were found during excavations near the castle of “Mtskheta”, “Armazi” (eastern part of Georgia). 4 couples of plates i.e. 8 Tsintsilas were found of large and small size there. The diameter of large plates is 40cm but the small ones’ 20cm. By their appearance, they look like usual plates. They are holed all around. That plays a great role in sound distributing. The comparison of the old and new plates showed that the Tsintsila found during the excavations in the sepulcher has a better design and sound reproducing than the simple plates used in the modern (military) orchestras that do not have girdles of sound distributing and holes of sound balancing. Tsintsila is also mentioned in many ancient works of literature, for example in Shota Rustaveli’s immortal poem “Knight in the Panther’s Skin”. Different rattling instruments made of metal were also found there: “Lini”, “Ezhvani” and “Daira with jingles”.

Music of Georgia

December 28th, 2018

Folk music
Georgian folk music possesses what is the oldest tradition of polyphonic music in the world, predating the introduction of Christianity.

Scales used in traditional Georgian music have, like most European scales, octaves divided into seven tones (eight including the octave), but the spacing of the tones is different. As with most traditional systems of tuning, traditional Georgian folk music uses a just perfect fifth. Between the unison and the fifth, however, come three evenly-spaced notes, producing a compressed (compared to most European music) major second, a neutral third, and a stretched perfect fourth. Likewise, between the fifth and the octave come two evenly-spaced notes, producing a compressed major sixth and a stretched minor seventh. This system of tuning renders thirds as the most consonant interval after fifths, which resulted in the third being treated as a stable interval in Georgia long before it acquired that status in Western music.

Some consider the Georgian scale a “quintave system” (as opposed to the octave-repeating “octave system”). Due to the neutral tuning within the quintave system, the eighth degree or octave is slightly widened, which often results in a rise in pitch from the beginning of a song to the end.

Because of the influence of the Western music and its different system of tuning, present-day performances of Georgian folk music often employ Western tuning, bringing the seconds, fourths, sixths, and sevenths, and sometimes the thirds as well, closer to where they would lie in a Western scale.

Musical literature and traditions
Georgian folk songs are often centered on feasts called supra, where songs and toasts to God, fatherland, long life, love and other topics. Traditional feast songs include “Zamtari”, which is about winter and is sung to commemorate ancestors, and “Mravalzhamier”, a joyous hymn. Work songs are also widespread. The orovela, for example is a type of work song found in eastern Georgia. There is also a distinct and rich tradition of Georgian sacred music, both settings of hymns for the Orthodox Church, and folk hymns and ritual songs that contain a great deal of “pagan”? imagery. There are, in addition, many lyric love songs, dance songs, lullabies, and travelling songs, among others.

Choirs are generally entirely male, though some female groups also exist; mixed-gender choirs are rare, but also exist (An example of the latter is the Zedashe ensemble, based in Sighnaghi, Kakheti).

Varieties within the country
Georgia is a small country, but it is very mountainous. For this reason, folk music styles from different regions of Georgia differ very widely, which makes it difficult to speak of characteristics of “Georgian folk music” as a monolithic whole.

Table songs from Kakheti in eastern Georgia usually feature a simple, drone-like bass part with two soloists singing the top two parts. Kakhetian melodies sound like recitative part of the time (with great emphasis on the words, which are highly poetic), and then break into series of ornate, cascading ornaments. The two melody parts do play off each other, but there is not the type of complicated back-and-forth between the parts that one hears in Gurian trio songs. Perhaps the most well-known example of music in Kakhetian style is the patriotic “Chakrulo”, which was chosen to accompany the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.

In Rach’a and Ajara, male singers accompany themselves on bagpipe. Dissonance is prominent in the west, in Mingrelia and Guria, which also features high pitches and outrageous, yodelling-like vocals called krimanchuli. Svaneti’s traditions are perhaps the oldest and most traditional due to the region’s isolation. Svan harmonies are irregular and angular, and the middle voice leads two supporting vocals, all with a narrow range. The 20th century has seen professional choirs achieve renown in Georgia, especially Anzor Erkomaishvili’s Rustavi Choir.

Contemporary Georgian music
Georgia is home to a form of urban music with sentimental, lovelorn lyrics, as well as a more rough and crude urban music featuring clarinets, doli and duduks.

Khachapuri, version II (Georgian Cheese Bread)

November 3rd, 2018

This is a golden yeast bread. Should be cut into wedges to serve.

Serves 8 to 12

3/ 4 cup of milk
1 1/ 2 packages (4 1/ 2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
1/ 2 teaspoon of honey
6 tablespoons or 3/ 4 of a stick of butter, at room temperature
1/ 4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 3/ 4 teaspoon of salt
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 pound Muenster cheese
1/ 2 pound of cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of melted butter

Heat the milk to lukewarm (105°F.). Dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/ 4 cup of milk. Set aside to proof for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining milk. Add the room temperature butter, the ground coriander seed, 1 1/ 2 teaspoons of salt and flour, mixing well.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth an elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning the dough to grease the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 1/ 2 to 2 hours.

To prepare the filling, grate the Muenster cheese. In a medium bowl, with a wooden spoon, cream the cottage cheese. Stir in the grated Muenster until well blended. Beat the eggs and stir into the cheese mixture along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon. Beat until smooth and light. Stir aside. When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and then let it rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down and divide into 3 equal parts.

On a floured board, roll each piece of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Grease three 8-inch cake or pie pans. Place in the center of each pan the punched down dough.

Divide the cheese mixture into 3 equal parts. Place 1/3 of the filling on each circle of dough, heaping it in the center. Then begin folding the edges of the dough in toward the center, moving in a clockwise direction, allowing each fold of dough to overlap the previous one, until the cheese mixture in completely enclosed in the pleated dough. Grasp the excess dough in the center of the bread and twist in into a type of a knot.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Let the breads stand for 10 minutes, then brush with the melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until browned. Slip the prepared cheese breads out of the pans and serve hot or at room temperature.

Alan Gasser

October 23rd, 2018

Alan Gasser grew up in Ohio, singing in an Anabaptist church, where his father was a song leader. He studied voice at the College of Wooster (Bachelor of Music), Choral Conducting at the University of Minnesota (Master of Music), music criticism at McMaster University (Master of Arts in Music Criticism) and then worked as tenor soloist and chorister with The Elmer Iseler Singers and other choirs.

Now Alan is a music leader and teacher of voice, choral music, world music, and conducting. He currently teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and at York University in the Department of Music. He has been a Unitarian Congregational Music Director and has taught and toured with Village Harmony summer-camp choirs in Vermont since 1999. He is also an experienced professional chorister, and has been co-director of the spirited women’s community choir, Echo, since 1993.

Alan has been singing Georgian folk music since 1985 and has travelled, studied and performed extensively in Georgia for nearly 20 years. He sang with the original North-American Georgian singing group, the Kartuli Ensemble, and has also toured Georgia and North America with the Trio Kavkasia and the Toronto ensemble Darbazi, and is a founding member of both groups. Alan was named a Silver Medal Laureate in 1995 by the Georgian Ministry of Culture: “For profound knowledge of the folk music of Georgia and his role in its popularization around the world.”

With his wife/partner, Becca Whitla, Alan produced a piano-vocal CD, “Parlour Songs and Heart Songs”, as well as a daughter, Emma Sophia Whitla, born in January 1999. The Trio Kavkasia has recorded for Well-Tempered World (1995) and Naxos World (2001). Echo produced a 10th-anniversary CD “Gonna Sing & Shout” in May, 2001, and Darbazi’s innovative CD “Darbazi & Friends” came out in October, 2001


October 20th, 2017

в переводе с грузинского — философский камень. Zumba Land — проект известного грузинского музыканта Зазы Коринтели, вот уже 14 лет развивающего идею «Театра Звука», — специфического представления, в котором звуковой абсурд, ностальгические мелодии, грузинское многоголосие, фолк и панк существуют в соответствии с особой внутренней драматургией. В конце 90-х Заза Коринтели сформировал в Польше новую группу, в которую вошли польские, грузинские, украинские и американские музыканты, однако, через два года музыкант вернулся в родной Тбилиси, чтобы продолжить огранку своего философского камня.Состав проекта:
Заза Коринтели «Зумба» (вокал, гитара, перкуссия, духовые инструменты)
Гия Диасамидзе (вокал, перкуссия)
Давид Хоситашвили «Хосе» (вокал, гитара)
Пако Гукасов (вокал, бас – гитара)
Мераб Санодзе «Сано» (вокал, перкуссионная установка)
Александр Квашали «Алико» (вокал, ударные)

Грузинская музыка / Georgian Music

May 26th, 2015

Грузинская музыка – это своего рода музыкальный феномен, она отличается от любой другой муззыки своим качеством и сущностью. Грузины сравнивают её со Святой Троицей, как с духовным основанием: три голоса являются основными и независимыми, у них нет главного голоса, как в европейской музыке. Единство Святой Троицы воплощается в одновременном произнесении слов, чего также не наблюдается в западноевропейском полифоническом искусстве.Фольклорные песни являются неотделимой частью сокровищницы грузинской культуры, народные песни, как и церковная музыка, передавались от поколения к поколению непосредственно через живую певческую традицию. Пением в Грузии занимаются преимущественно мужчины: типичная грузинская песня – трёхголосная мужская “а капелла”. Полифоническое пение занимает важное место в социальной жизни Грузии, как на праздниках, так и в трудах.Существуют два типа песен: восточногрузинские и западногрузинские. Песни Восточной Грузии часто имеют два солирующих верхних голоса, и нижние голоса с гибкими протяжными тонами. Песни же Западной Грузии характеризуются отчётливым многоголосием, которое часто имеет комплексную мелодическую структуру, не опирающуюся на гармонический консонанс.В 1976 году американское космическое агентство NASA, начав глобальное исследование “Вояджер“, отправило в космос песню «Чакруло» в исполнении “Эрисиони“ как образец музыкальных способностей человечества.

Nino Chkheidze / Нино Чхеидзе / ნინო ჩხეიძე

April 27th, 2015

Нино Чхеидзе pодилась в 1981 году, 6 января в Тбилиси. Окончила музыкальную школу, одновременно занималась вокалом в Тбилисском дворце пионеров. Позже стала серьезно заниматься пением и училась исполнительскому искусству у лучших мастеров вокала. Замужем, имеет дочь – Мариам. Жизненное кредо – профессионализм, ответственность, честность. Считает, что по жизни нужно идти с улыбкой и сеять только добро! В репертуаре Нино много грузинских народных песен, которые она исполняет в современной аранжировке.