June 16th, 2014

Suliko (Georgian: სულიკო) is a Georgian female and male name meaning ‘soul’. It is also the title of a love poem written in 1895 by Akaki Tsereteli, which became widely known throughout the Soviet Union as a song performed with music composed by Varenka Tsereteli. In that form it was often performed on radio during Stalin’s rule, reputedly because it was Stalin’s favorite. It was translated to and performed in multiple languages including Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English and German.

Georgian original

საყვარლის საფლავს ვეძებდი,
ვერ ვნახე!.. დაკარგულიყო!..
გულამოსკვნილი ვჩიოდი
„სადა ხარ, ჩემო სულიკო?!“

ეკალში ვარდი შევნიშნე,
ობლად რომ ამოსულიყო,
გულის ფანცქალით ვკითხავდი
„შენ ხომ არა ხარ სულიკო?!“

ნიშნად თანხმობის კოკობი
შეირხა… თავი დახარა,
ცვარ-მარგალიტი ციური
დაბლა ცრემლებად დაჰყარა.

სულგანაბული ბულბული
ფოთლებში მიმალულიყო,
მივეხმატკბილე ჩიტუნას
„შენ ხომ არა ხარ სულიკო?!“

შეიფრთქიალა მგოსანმა,
ყვავილს ნისკარტი შეახო,
თითქოს სთქვა„დიახ, დიახო!“

დაგვქათქათებდა ვარსკვლავი,
სხივები გადმოსულიყო,
მას შევეკითხე შეფრქვევით
„შენ ხომ არა ხარ სულიყო?!“

დასტური მომცა ციმციმით,
სხივები გადმომაყარა
და იმ დროს ყურში ჩურჩულით
ნიავმაც ასე მახარა

„ეგ არის, რასაც ეძებდი,
მორჩი და მოისვენეო!
დღე დაიღამე აწ ტკბილად
და ღამე გაითენეო!

„სამად შექმნილა ის ერთი
ვარსკვლავად, ბულბულ, ვარდადო,
თქვენ ერთანეთი რადგანაც
ამ ქვეყნად შეგიყვარდათო“.

მენიშნა!.. აღარ დავეძებ
საყვარლის კუბო-სამარეს,
აღარც შევჩვი ქვეყანას,
აღარ ვღვრი ცრემლებს მდუღარეს!

ბულბულს ყურს ვუგდებ, ვარდს ვყნოსავ,
ვარსკვლავს შევყურებ ლხენითა
და, რასაცა ვგრძნობ მე იმ დროს,
ვერ გამომითქვამს ენითა!

ისევ გამეხსნა სიცოცხლე,
დღემდე რომ მწარედ კრულ იყო,
ახლა კი ვიცი, სადაც ხარ
სამგან გაქვს ბინა, სულიკო!

English version

I was looking for my sweetheart’s grave,
And longing was tearing my heart.
Without love my heart felt heavy -
Where are you, my Suliko?

Among fragrant roses, in the shadow,
Brightly a nightingale sang his song.
There I asked the nightingale
Where he had hidden Suliko.

Suddenly the nightingale fell silent
And softly touched the rose with the beak
“You have found what you are looking for,” he said,
In an eternal sleep Suliko is resting here.”

Russian version

Я по миру долго искал,
Но ее найти нелегко,
Долго я томился и страдал;
Где же ты моя Сулико!

Розу на пути встретил я,
В поисках уйдя далеко,
Роза, пожалей, услышь меня,
Нет ли у тебя Сулико?

Роза, наклонившись слегка,
Свой бутон раскрыв широко,
Тихо прошеплала мне тогда
Не найти тебе Сулико.

Среди род душистых, в тени,
Песню соловей звонко пел,
Я у соловья тогда спросил
Сулико не ты ли пригрел?

Соловей вдруг замолчал,
Розу тронул клювом легко,
Ты нашел, что ищешь, – он сказал
Вечным сном здесь спит Сулико.

Changi (Georgian Folk Instruments)

May 23rd, 2014

Nowadays, Changi is preserved only in one region of Georgia – Svaneti (western Svanetian Changi mountainous part). Changi consists of two main parts: body and supplementary elements, which are represented by keys (1) and tuners (2). The body consists of horizontal and vertical parts. The horizontal part – the resonator – is made out of a long hollowed tree and has the shape of a semi-cylinder. Plate of about 4mm with a small curvature in the middle is nailed onto it. The plate has 6 notches for buttons (1) to fasten the strings, they are fastened at the same distance from the sides of the resonator. The vertical part is straight and flat. It has holes for the tuners (2). The tip of the vertical part is inserted into the horizontal part forming a right angle. On both parts small wooden sticks are nailed parallel to the strings. The Changi is mainly made of softwood. The most popular material is fir, but sometimes pine-tree is used. The Changi has 6 or 7 strings. The tune of a six-string Changi is “fa”, “sol”, “la”, “si”, “do”, “re”. The seven-string Changi has the same tune but its scale begins with “mi”. Special proportions are kept by Changi “Deer” the instrument makers when designing Changi.

It is mostly played by women and is generally used for accompaniment. Solo songs are often accompanied with it. But melodies performed on this instrument represent the transcription of Svanetian national “Saperkhulo” (a dance) melodies not the original instrumental music. Only one Changi is used while accompanying solo melodies. Nevertheless, combining “Chuniri” and “Changi” into ensemble was quite frequent. Changi is quite popular in Svaneti. It was considered to be the instrument of “sorrow”. According to the sayings, it was often played to comfort a person in his grief. There is a legend connected with Changi that tells us the story of an old man whose son was killed in a war and who found an expression of his grief in a sad melody of Changi. Changi in Svanetian language is also called Svanetian Changi “Shimekvshe” that means a broken arm. Svanetian Changi is recognized to be one of the ancient string instruments. It has existed since the IV century B.C. It is worthy of notice that one of the most ancient nations “Shumerians”, who lived in western Asia and are thought to have been closely connected with our ancestors with ties of kinship had the similar instrument that looked like the Svanetian harp. There is a supposition about the origin of Changi, according which it must have been originated from a bow. This weapon is not a particular nation’s invention. Thus, Changi could have been invented independently in different nations. The instruments similar to Changi were widespread in many ancient Eastern counties: in Egypt, Shumereti, Babylon, Iran, China, Greece, etc.

The Shin

April 20th, 2014

THE SHIN is from Republic of Georgia, a Caucasian country in Eurasia to the east of the Black Sea will be a new release on JARO Records. “EGARI”, the project focused on the Georgian tradition and singing.

The Shin’s newest project “Egari” is a collaboration with a Georgian folkloric musicians, singers and dancer. It is based on Georgian polyphony, traditional instruments, fiery Caucasian dance and European ethno-jazz. The name “Egari” means “That’s it!” and reflects The Shin interpretation of the Georgian folk music. The musicians resurrect archaic instruments, breathe new life into them, and free them of the dusty, archival, as well as pathetic Soviet-era teint. Egari is a rebirth of the free and unfettered dialog between East and West, which has always been a characteristic of Georgian culture: in the poetry of Rustaveli, the paintings of Pirosmani, old Tbilisi’s architecture, Otar Ioseliani’s films, and of course, in that country’s music. The latter, now fully revealing its true nature, is open to inspire and be inspired by the musical essence of other cultures. This overwhelming acoustic-visual experience represents a highly original contribution to the development of music in the beginning of the 21st century.

The Shin are Zaza Miminoshvili (guitars and midi guitars, panduri, song writing), Zurab J. Gagnidze (fretless electric and acoustic bass, Guruli vocals, song writing), Mamuka Ghaghanidze (vocals percussion, song writing).

The Shin formed in Germany in 1998, where Zaza Miminoshvili and Zurab Gagnidze have been since 1994. Mamuka Gaganidze joined the group in 2002. In their Georgian homeland, these musicians are already living legends and belong to the artistic elite of the country: composers and performers Zaza Miminoshvili and Zurab Gagnidze wrote music for Robert Sturua’s productions for the state theater in Tbilisi, and also for many motion pictures. They were prize winners at numerous jazz festivals. In 1992, Zaza Miminoshvili was named the best acoustic guitarist in Georgia. Mamuka Gaganidze records soundtracks with with the famous Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. Zurab Gagnidze worked with Randy Brecker, Chaka Khan, Okay Temiz, Giora Feidman, Ramesh Shotham and many others. The musicians are famous for their jazz-fusion, rooted in Georgian musical traditions but strongly influenced by other international sources. Their witty version of this music has been distinguished by several international prizes.

In Georgian Shin means the road home. Even though each of us has our own personal road home and our own personal home, the music of The Shin has the amazing ability of leading everyone ”home”. The music leads you to somewhere you know you’ve been before, where the windows are fogged over from the rain and it smells of kitchen smells, where you hear voices and, even though you might not understand what they are saying, you understand everything anyway. This music leads you home, no matter how far away it is.

The Shin’s music brilliantly unites Georgian folk tunes with jazz, the unique vocal technique of Georgia with scat, elements of flamenco, ancient eastern and modern western music. The Shin’s „instrumental theatre“ replete with cultural undertones. The music oscillates between pure life-joy (with lots of humorous asides) and genuine solemnity. The Shin generates rhythmic-harmonic extensions, seasoned with exotic sound-spices from Europe’s Southeastern frontier to the Orient. The group’s guruli-type polyphonies merge pagan ancestry with Byzantine celebration, under an all-inclusive, sui generis type of swing, whilst the specific sound of the Georgian language is adapted to jazz’s scat tradition. It is a masterly performance, displaying virtuosity, explosive temperament and sparkling humor of the musicians, as well as their remarkable emotional interplay and the special rapport that the musicians share with their listeners, literally enthralling the audience from their very first notes.

Played with
Randy Brecker, Giora Feidman, Chaka Khan, Okay Temiz, Claus Boesser-Ferrari, Jatinda Thakur, Shankar Lal, Fill Guy, Rajesh Mehta, Milt Hinton, David Murray, Julius Hemphill, Don Byron, Ernie Watts, Elliot Sharpe, Joe Lovano, Kimmi Knepper, Richard Davis, Jaki Byard

ManyTimer (World-Jazz), BBB Music Ltd., 2004, The Shin, Büttelborn, Germany (In the beginning of May2005 nominated a best CD of the week by the Blue Rhythm magazine.) Ibero-Caucasian Style (Jazz-World), CD & CD ROM, 2003, The Shin, Heilbronn, Germany. The Shin (Jazz-Rock) F&C Records, 1995, Jazz Group ADIO, Heilbronn, Germany. Tseruli (acoustic guitar music), Acoustic Music Records, 1999, The Shin, Osnabrück, Germany.

The Legend of Tamar (Broadway Show), Erisioni Productions, 2000, Seatle, USA. Lazutlar (Black Sea Style), Kalan Müzik, Yapim, 2000, Fuat Saka, Istanbul, Turkey.

The Urmuli Quintet

March 23rd, 2014

The Quintet Urmuli has produced four entirely different CDs over a ten-year period of performing hundreds of concerts, mainly in Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland. The group was last presented in a wonderful live concert hall at the Tbilisi conservatory. Now they play three nights per week to enthusiastic listeners at the Maidan Restaurant in Old Tbilisi. Their repertoire consists of a wide-spread spectrum of Georgian traditional music, melodies and polyphonic songs, some of which date back to medieval times. The artists have masterfully arranged to their instrumentation and vocal pleasure by sincerely maintaining the Georgian spiritual culture and character.

The intensity and integrity of introducing Georgian ‘Music of the centuries’ consequently found the Quintet performing at very outstanding concert-sites: Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Baroque hall Kloster Benediktbeuern in Bavaria, L’Auditorium Saint-German-des-Pres in Paris, and many others. Their concerts have been recorded by several major Radio Stations in Germany, and their TV documentary features have been heard all over the world. Apart from being members of the Quintet Urmuli, the group’s members have performed music with different ensembles in numerous other foreign countries all over the world.

A German writer said this about the quintet in 2005: ‘Vocal and duduk melodies represent the early European music. And there is a question: various oriental compositions, Jewish and Roman music… is Georgian music really the origin of it all? It is an object of scientific investigations. One thing we know for sure: Quintet Urmuli makes a very strong impression upon people. Georgia must be a country of extraordinary beauty’ – Matias Wiideman.

Georgian Times sat down with artist and producer Michael Brittingham and members of the Urmuli Quintet, Shalva Abramashvili, Davit Jimshitashvili, Nugzar Kavtaradze, Vladimir Mamaladze and David Ratiani, to find out why they are cooperating together to pay for the tuitions of two Georgian students as they go into university this fall.

Q: What is the history of Quintet Urmuli? When was the group founded? How did you find each other?

Quintet spokesman, Nugzar Kavtaradze: We started working in 1993. At the beginning the staff was different from what it is now. We issued our first two albums in Germany. At that time, we had a German manager who arranged concerts in different countries of Europe for the band. To date we have had more than 600 concerts in many different European countries.

In 2001 we issued two more albums: one studio record, the other a live recording. At the moment we are working on recording two more albums, and are in search of finance for these projects.

Q: What kind of music do you play? Do you play only traditional folk music, or do you merge classical and modern music styles in your repertoire too?

Kavtaradze: That is what makes Quintet Urmuli so original. We can offer single instrumental and vocal parts, as well as a blend of the both. The band plays mainly folk music, but we also have city guitar folklore in our repertoire. One unique composition of ours is a duduk and chuniri duet. Classical music is also an integral part of our repertoire; we play Mozart, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Azarashvili, Dolidze, and many other classics.

Salamuri and Panduri instrumentalist David Jimshitashvili: Recently we played Kiazo’s Aria on just duduk and chuniri parts… it sounds very different from the symphonic orchestra, but is very interesting and original.

Davit Ratiani: We also collaborate with many other bands and musicians from different genres like jazz and popular music. Among other things, we often do soundtracks.

Q: Is your audience mainly Georgian or do foreigners also show interest in your music?

Kavtaradze: Once on Christmas we gave a concert at the Goethe Institute. The director of the Institute, who made a speech before our performance said: ‘Unfortunately, Quintet Urmuli is more popular in Europe than in its native Georgia’. This is true. We have had many more performances abroad than in our own country. Of course, there are many foreigners among our listeners. Now that we play at the Maidani Restaurant three times a week, we are happy to see how many people from different countries are interested in our music. I am pleasantly surprised and proud that among our admirers there is an increasing amount of young people… Georgians. In spite of the recent tendency to imitate the West, Georgian youth are still not detached from their roots.

Davit Jimshitashvili: In all European countries there are many clubs where professionals and music critics go specifically to listen to musicians and assess the art. Maidani is one of the few restaurants in the city where people come with purpose to listen to the music.

Q: How do you view your cultural role in our charity auction and why did you agree to participate in it?

Kavtaradze: Any performance is important for us, it adds to our experience, and besides, it is a pleasure for any musician. In this case we are happy to contribute into the event and help these children get the necessary means to realise their talents.

Davit Ratiani: Charity is not new for us. We have done many concerts for charity. A couple of times we participated in charity concerts organized in Germany. The money was sent to Georgia, once to infant houses, the other time to help build hydroelectric stations. We are always open and ready to devote our efforts to help people in every way we can.

Chuniri (Georgian Folk Instruments)

February 12th, 2014

Chuniri is an ancient Georgian string instrument played by a bow-shaped stick. It consists of Chunirioval body (1), neck (3) and subsidiaries. The sound is reproduced with a bow. The body(1) of the Svanetian Chuniri has the shape of a sieve. It is open from below. It is covered with leather (2). The neck (3) is whole and flat that is attached into the body. On the head there are three holes for tuners. The subsidiaries are tuners (4), a bridge (5) and a leg (6). On one end of the neck, horsehair strings are fastened. The bow (7) has notches for strings. A Rachian Chianuri has a boat-like body, cut out of a whole piece of wood. It has 2 holes of 5-6 mm in diameter. The body is covered with leather that is fastened by a rope to the back part of the Chuniri. The neck is whole. Its round head has 2 holes for strainers. Khevsuretian and Tushetian Chianuris have round bodies. Chuniri While playing, the musician touches the strings with finger-cushions but without touching the neck, therefore the Chianuri has a flageolet sound. The bow touches all strings simultaneously so the Chianuri has only three-part consonance. The bodies of Chianuris and Chuniris are made of fir or pine-tree. The necks are of birch or oak. The strings are made from horsehair. This sort of string gives the instrument very soft and sweet sounding. The Rachian Chianuri has 2 strings. Its tune is major third. The tune of the 3-stringed Svanetian and Tushetian Chuniri is second-third. Chuniri can have two or three strings made of horsehair. Its fiddlestick also has horsehair. Chianuri has the prop attached to the edge of the hollow body along the neck. Only the mountain inhabitants of Georgia preserved this instrument in its original form. This instrument is considered to be a national instrument of Svaneti and is thought to have spread in the other regions of Georgia from there. Chuniri has different names in different regions: in Khevsureti, Tusheti (Eastern mountainous parts) its name is Chuniri, and in Racha, Guria (western parts) – “Chianuri”. Chuniri is used for accompaniment. It is often played in an ensemble with Changi and Salamuri. Both men and women played it.

One-part songs, national heroical poems and dance melodies were performed on it in Svaneti. Chuniri and Changi are often played together in an ensemble when performing polyphonic songs. More than one Chianuri at a time is not used. Chianuri is kept in a warm place. Often, especially in rainy days it was warmed in the sun or near fireplace before using, in order to emit more harmonious sounds. This fact is acknowledged in all regions where the fiddlestick instruments were spread. That is done generally because dampness and wind make a certain affect on the instrument’s resonant body and the leather that covers it. In Svaneti and Racha people even could make a weather forecast according to the sound produced by Chianuri. Weak and unclear sounds were the signs of a rainy weather. The instrument’s side strings i.e. first and third strings are tuned in quart, but the middle (second) string is tuned in tercet with other strings. It was a tradition to play Chuniri late in the evening the day before a funeral. For instance, one of the relatives (man) of a dead person would sit down in open air by the bonfire and play a sad melody. In his song (sang in a low voice) he would remember the life of the dead person and the lives of the other dead ancestors of the family. Most of the songs performed on Chianuri are connected with sad occasions. There is an expression in Svaneti that “Chianuri is for sorrow”. However, it is often used at parties as well.

Darbazi (Canada)

January 23rd, 2014

Founded in 1995, Darbazi is a Toronto-based ensemble that focuses exclusively on performing traditional music from the Caucasus Georgia, a mountainous country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

With repertoire ranging from sacred chants to exuberant drinking songs, Darbazi seeks to broaden the awareness of Georgia’s heritage for abundant food and wine, hospitable spirit, and polyphonic songs. Over the years, the choir – made up of three women and eight men, two of whom are from Georgia – has striven for a deeper understanding of this unique music.

Through cultural exchanges and travel, the members have had a chance to work with legendary Georgian singers and experience the profundity of Georgian hospitality. This in turn has translated into Darbazi’s authentic voice for the richly varied musical traditions of Georgia’s many distinctive regions, bringing themselves and their audiences great meaning and joy.

Darbazi has performed in and around Ontario, at Toronto’s Fete de la Musique and First Night events, at Montreal’s World Music Festival, at Festival 500 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and in New York City. Attending the Third International Symposium on Georgian Polyphony in Tbilisi in October 2006 was a highpoint for Darbazi.

აღმოსავლეთ საქართველოს ქალთა სიმღერები

December 1st, 2013

2008 წელს, თბილისის ვ. სარაჯიშვილის სახელობის სახელმწიფო კონსერვატორიის ქართული ხალხური მუსიკალური შემოქმედების კათედრამ, ფოლკლორის მხარდაჭერის პრეზიდენტის პროგრამისა – ”ქართული ხალხური სიმღერის ასაღორძინებლად” და საქართველოს კულტურის, ძეგლთა დაცვის და სპორტის სამინისტროს მხარდაჭერით გამოსცა კომპაქტ. დისკების კრებული ”ქართული ხალხური მუსიკა”. მასში გაერთიანებულია საქართველოს ყველა კუთხის სიმღერები.

კრებულის ერთ-ერთი დისკის, აღმოსავლეთ საქართველოს ქალთა სიმღერების, მხოლოდ ნაწილს – საექსპედიციო ჩანაწერებს გაეცანით ჩვენს ძირითად გვერდზე.

Me Rustveli / მე რუსთველი

November 22nd, 2013

Ensemble was established in 1996, in the  monastery named after Archangel Michael, Rustavi. The aim of collecting ensemble members was the strong desire of participation (performing  chants) in divine service. Since the first days of its establishment the  ensemble has started an intensive work on searching and studying Georgian chants. The repertoire included chants of annual cycles of divine service and  celebration songs.

From the beginning the band consisted of 5 members. Later the number has increased, the majority of which were the students  of conservatoire. The ensemble worked on learning both chants and Georgian folk  songs. Gradually the band repertoire has increased and the desire of creating  folklore band created a unique ensemble named “Me Rustveli”.

In 2000 rector and faculty members of Tbilisi Vano Sarajishvili State University gave the band the status of conservatoire folklore ensemble. Since then, it has  started its active concert work not only within Georgia but beyond its borders as well.

Strong ties with conservatoire have had great influence on the ensembles  professional development (promotion), the repertoire has become more colorful,  more concert experience has been gained and the membership has become more complete.

The present-day membership is: Nugzar Arveladze (leader), Mikheil Edisherashvili, Tamaz Mamaladze, Teimuraz Janelidze, Teimuraz Kilasonia, Giorgi Janelidze, Giorgi Tsivtsivadze, Shalva Maisashvili, Lasha Maisaia.

Even today the ensemble continues its service  in the chapel named after Saint Ioakim and Anna, and its concert work gains  more popularity in Georgia  and beyond its borders. It also continues its active cooperation with conservatoire.

“Me Rustveli” has a great potential to search  and perform ancient folklore works. It plans to record CDs with its unique  performance, and to participate in various folklore festivals sand concerts.

This is what Anzor Erkomaishvili writes about “Me Rustveli”: Today many bands have taken performance of  seldom works of Georgian chants in their repertoire. Young people try to  penetrate the depth and restore the far-forgotten song tradition. “Me Rustveli” is within such bands; despite its age, the ensemble has already gained enough  authority and an audience respect, as its members serve the national work and  continue the best traditions brought up to day by our ancestors.

Ensemble is hardly based on the national ground  and has quite refined performing skills. Its members have the great ability to penetrate the depth of the best  works of any region and to please the audience. That makes their songs easily  accessible and pleasant to listen.

The repertoire, except  church songs, includes the songs of every region in Georgia. They are performed on  concert stages. The ensemble tours a lot in various cities of Georgia, holds meeting-concerts,  participates in church celebrations and uses all opportunities to popularize Georgian songs.

The majority of the ensemble members are  professional musicians. They have been brought together by their huge love of  songs and their national obligation of rescuing spiritual treasure of Georgian  people. Today their names are identified with the ensemble concept. It seems  like they have to share same life and destiny. The daily life and tensed work  has created an amazing unanimity that stresses the dignities of their moral.

Concerts and tours:
2002, International festival of songs in Sachkhere (Georgia).
2003, “Me Rustveli” opens Beethoven international festival in Bonn (Germany).
2003, Aram Khachaturian International festival in Yerevan (Armenia).
2004, International Symposium of Folklore in a huge  hall of Tbilisi conservatoire (Georgia).
2004, International festival of Georgian wines and  cuisine in San-Francisco (U.S.). Solo concerts in various cities of California (U.S.).
2006, Solo concerts in Belgium  and Holland.
2007, International festival of burdon music (Latvia).

ანსამბლი ”ჯვარული” / Ensemble Jvareuli

October 28th, 2013

აჟთა ფოლკლორული ანსამბლი “ჯვარული” 2007 წლის შემოდგომაზე შეიქმნა. მის შემადგენლობაში თხუთმეტამდე ახალგაზრდაა, ყველა _ წარმოშობით მოხევე. მათი საშუალო ასაკი 22-25 წელია და არც ერთს არ აქვს მუსიკალური განათლება. რამდენიმე მათგანი ბოლო წლებში თბილისის თემქის წმინდა გიორგის სახელობის ეკლესიაში გალობს.

ანსამბლის შექმნა მოხეური სამუსიკო ფოლკლორის ტრადიციების გაქრობის საშიშროებამ განაპირობა. საქმის დაწყებას კი ბიძგი ანზორ ერქომაიშვილმა მისცა. ანსამბლი სიონის სამრევლო სკოლაში იკრიბება (დირექტორი ლია სალაყაია). სიმღერებს უშუალოდ ჩანაწერებიდან სწავლობენ, რაც სასიკეთოდ აისახება მათს საშემსრულებლო მანერაზე.

Neka Sebiskveradze / ნეკა სებისკვერაძე

September 10th, 2013

Place of birth: – Republic of Georgia, Tbilisi.
Date of birth: – 9 December 1984
Education: – Bachelor Degree in journalism

Neka was growing in traditional Georgian family, where fine arts and, especially music, were always prime hobbies and interests. Neka’s singing talent was discovered in age of 5 by her mother, so as a result of this discovery she took Neka to singer’s class, under direction of composer Rusudan Sebiskveradze. The very firs concert, neka took part in, was in Tbilisi Entertainers House, when she was only 6 years old. As she said after, the best thing she liked of it was her beautiful white dress, she wore on stage during performance. The next step in her singer’s career was child-band called “Nergebi”. During the casting, for entering this band, they decided, that Neka had a great feel of rhythm and should play drums. So, this is how Neka became drummer in her seven. As she said, she liked it much, though it was very hard to reach kick drum and hi-hat pedals. Neka’s father said, it was a lot of fun looking at Neka playing drums from concert hall seats – only part of forehead appeared from behind of drumset. She performed 37 songs as drummer, whereupon she decided to leave band. She wanted to sing, but band had no other talent to substitute Neka on Drums, so she left the band in age of eight.

After leaving “Nergebi”, Neka started visiting class conducted by composer David Turashvili. “It was the greatest advance in my singer’s career, being taught by such a great musician” – Neka says. “I was following David Turashvili’s advices all further career” – she says also. David Turashvili became most significant and the only vocals teacher Neka ever had after she finished visiting his class. She was studying music in music college, but was never taught vocals again.

When Neka’s parent realized, that love for singing was more than simple hobby, they decided to help her in advancing to professional scene. They did their best, though it was pretty hard to invest recordings and promotion. Than way Neka’s mother became her manager and was following her wherever Neka went for concerts or festivals.

In 1992 Neka wins “Child Song Contest”. There she meats professional acknowledgement – one of the juries , famous Georgian singer Merab Sepashvili, decided to grant her a Grand Prix of this festival, despite festival organizers didn’t specify such a prize at all in initially. “I even didn’t realized what a big honor it was – I just saw my parent’s faces in tears of happiness and thought that something really big just happened” – Neka says. She was only eight years old then.

In year of 1994 Neka goes to Borjomi town – there she participates in international child song festival called “Crystal fir-tree” along with 15 participants from different countries. She was mentioned by art-director of this festival – Igor Filiev. He invited her to take part in concert dedicated to “Georgian Cinematography’s 100-th year anniversary”. That was first time Neka performed on Georgian State Philarmony scene. She performed along with such a famous georgian singers, as Nani Bregvadze, Buba Kikabidze and Gogi Dolidze. Behind the scene Gogi Dolidze took Neka by hand and told her, that she had a great future.

First appearance on TV concurred with Neka’s ninth birthday. As a result of great performance at “Georgian Cinematography’s 100-th year anniversary”, she was featured over TV as promising talent opening to more than 3 000 000 georgian public. Right after this she records song called “Batumi Troubadours” and gets well known to public in Batumi town. “It was so exiting, seeing people recognizing me in streets in my ten” – Neka says.

Like every musician in the world, one day Neka discovered, that she fail under musical and professional influence of one person. It was musician and piano player Nodar Paladashvili, who impressed her so much with his vision of music and great collection of records of different styles. He was also working as musical editor on Georgian Television 1st Channel. “That was a person I could talk about anything to – in need of any kind of advice or just friendly conversation I appealed to Nodar” – says Neka. When it was very hard to keep on singing and simply survive in Georgia (dear public probably remembers Civil War in the middle of Tbilisi in 1991 and all awful consequences for Georgian society for next years), Nodar made Neka believe in herself and didn’t let her give up her singer career.

The very first job of Neka was singing in musical plays for Russian Youth Theatre. (Remark by webmaster:- she was payed about $25 per month during this period – yeas dear Sirs – it was Georgian reality of 90’s) Shen worked for one year in theatre, though.

In 1998 Neka became bursar of President of Georgia. The same time Neka became Soloist of Georgian Philarmony – prestigious occupation for adults and unimaginable position for thirteen years girl. This facts helped Neka release her very first album, under support of “Renaissance” fund. It was very rare case of releasing local musical production in Georgia these years. “It seems very strange to me now, that I managed to release my first album in my thirteen, but I was so happy looking on it and holding my first CD in hands” – Neka says. She was remaining President’s bursar for period on 1999 through 2003. It helped her a lot in investing more finances in to her musical career.

The first international tour was in Japan – Neka went there with Eka Kakhiani, Nini Badurashvili and Tako Gachichiladze. They performed Georgian folk songs in 9 towns of Japan. After that she had tours in USA, Greece and Israel.

Israel became a historical point in Neka’s journalist career. In year of 2004 she was offered to work for first Georgian-speaking TV channel opened the same year in Tel-Aviv. She worked for 7 months as chief musical editor and VJ also. After coming back to Georgia, Neka started working at “Ucnobi FM 98.0” radio station. Currently Neka works for 1st channel as editor and presenter of “Dila” program.