Georgian Polyphony in Limelight of Art Gene 2013
25 July, 2013
Georgian Polyphony in  Limelight of Art Gene 2013
This is already the tenth year for Art-Gene festival that is traditionally held at Ethnographic Museum. For years, the festival has acquired devoted visitors and has become an international event. Now, tourists are arriving, trying to make their visit coincide with this event where people get cool in the hot summer, meet, get educated, entertain and simply fall in love with Georgian treasury lurking in our genes.
Each year, there were certain topics that were highlighted: local folklore, crafts, eco-tourism,
world’s traditional cultures, Georgian ecology, Georgian written language, traditional Georgian family, etc. This year, polyphony is in the spotlight, which really occupies its deserved and particular place at all art-gene festivities. This time, the program was more integrated, ample with exhibitions and markets of crafts, art and enamel, as well as musical improvisations and master-classes in all above-mentioned branches.
The founders of Art-Gene note that their main achievement is that the event serves as a bridge between generations, as well as between the capital city and the regions, as well as between different genres of culture. As usual, practically all regions were represented, which gave the Georgians a wonderful chance to get better acquainted and get closer to their roots. For foreigners, it was a wonderful mosaic of Georgian genetic culture, and its diversity, reflected in food, songs, dances and crafts, once again highlighting the fact that no matter how small this country is, it is multifaceted and multicolored when it comes to various regions.
Georgian polyphony is among the most prominent three polyphonies worldwide – including Corsican and Sardinian ones. The latter was also the guest of Art-Gene 2013, namely, the Sardinian Polyphonic group “Tenores Di Bitti”, which gave a thrilling performance on July 19. Another performance on July 20, was also interesting, featuring Afro-Polish singer If Viung together with whom the ensemble “Chveneburebi”, who were at the same time, the organizers of this years’ Art-Gene; they have presented a musical mix during their concert tour in Poland. The “Vocal Igne” folk group from Spain was among the foreign participants.
“Of course, our traditional thanks go to the Ministry of Culture as well as the City Hall. I can tell you that what we have seen during these 10 years, is that Georgia is not the country of a museum culture. This is the country where these pearls of our ancient culture are well integrated into the reality. To prove this, it is enough to mention a considerable number of folk groups that have emerged within our festival and have gradually reached the professional level”, Zaza Korinteli, founder of Art-Gene Festival noted.
Giorgi Baramidze, another founder of the festival added: “This is the first time when we take our elderly folk group from Guria called “Iadoni” (canary) to WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), one of the most attended festivals of the world under the aegis of Art-Gene.”
Three polyphonies: Georgian, Sardinian and Corsican are the most dominant in the world. The second one was also present at the festival; thus Art-Gene acquired an international dimension. It was capped by the concert of Niaz Diasamidze’s band 33a. Art-gene also hosts other musical genres in addition to folk music and songs, but mainly they are spiked with some folk elements.
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