Kereoni / კერეონი

Folk music from Georgia -the country, not the state – isn’t exactly well known, but on the basis of this, there might be plenty to discover. With gorgeous, liquid harmonies the five voices blend beautifully, with an almost liturgical quality to pieces like “Gogov, Gogov Shavthvala.” Although there are instruments on the disc, it’s the voices that are really in evidence. There’s little fast or up-tempo here; instead Ensemble Kereoni go for the more stately approach, which probably works well as an introduction to the style, although the mountain melody “Mthiuluri Satrphialo,” which does bring in instruments, ups the pace somewhat, with a refreshing wildness. The sleeve notes aren’t as detailed as they might have been, but still a bit better than cursory. So what’s to make of it? It’s pleasant, but you do end up with the feeling this group is guided more by art than passion. However, it’s a peek through the door, and hopefully there’ll be more soon.
Chris Nickson

The name of the ensemble Kereoni refers to a traditional candle used in the Orthodox Church, symbolising the harmonization of the Trinity. They present male choir polyphony from Georgia, a cappella as well as accompanied on traditional Georgian instruments such as panduri (3-stringed lute), doli (drum), chonguri (4-stringed lute) and salamuri (duct flute).

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