Three songs to know more about Georgian music
14 June, 2019
Three songs to know more about Georgian music
Georgia boasts about its rich traditional music. The earliest polyphonic tradition of the Christian world is considered to be originated from Georgia. Eastern and Western Georgia have a different tradition of folk music contributing to at least 15 regional styles. It comes a no surprise that the folk music is dominated by vocal a cappella polyphony. Georgian Journal offers its readers three Georgian performers who will help you picture the musical world of Georgia.

In 1977, NASA launched the
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, carrying the famous “golden record” containing sounds and messages from Earth. Despite Moscow’s endeavor to send a Russian song to space, the soaring sounds of the Georgian choir won. The Georgian choral folk song “Chakrulo” to space was sent into space. It is a three-part drinking song from the region of Kakheti (East Georgia), dramatizing preparations for a battle. It is characterized by two highly ornamented individual vocal parts, against a slow-moving drone chorus. When Georgian vocal polyphony was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage masterpiece in 2001, Chakrulo was cited as a prime example of this.

Inola Gurgulia is a Georgian composer and poet, who lived in the past century. Her musical performances delight both young and old generation. She established vocal-instrumental trio “Samaia”. The trio used to perform songs written by Inola Gurgulia. The musician is distinguished by her manner of performing songs. Her performance was a kind of accord style singing which was particular to Georgian folk and urban songs.

The Rustavi Choir was formed in 1968 to bring the undiluted styles of the various regions together and expose the sound to a wider audience. Hamlet Gonashvili was the outstanding soloist in the ensemble before his untimely death after a fall from an apple tree in 1985. His rich timbre is the crowning glory atop the ever-moving harmonies that give the sound its uniquely haunting tone. He is sometimes referred to as "the voice of Georgia".

Related stories:

Salome Tetiashvili – Georgian Internet star with incredible voice

Unforgettable voice from Georgia

Hamlet Gonashvili’s “Tsintskaro” in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu

“Chakrulo” performed at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
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