10 September, 2010

That Georgians are outstanding singers and dancers is no big news, but the fact that they start dancing and singing the day they are born into our beautiful world and never stop doing this until they breathe their last, is worth being aware of. The Georgian folk songs ensemble called SHAVLEGO counts only nine permanently performing members, the youngest among them being only 60 and the oldest just 83.

Look at their picture and you will know it all by yourself:

still youngish, vigorous, handsome and full of energy and pep. They undoubtedly impress their viewers and listeners with their healthy young looks, but suffice it to hear the sounds that are flowing from those weathered throats and mouths, one wants to let them continue their magic melodies forever.

These amazingly interesting men come from absolutely different walks of life, each and every one of them have honorably done their duty in life before their families, their countries and their friends. Omar Chitaia, a well-known journalist and a man of letters has many times amazed audiences with his wonderful base. By they way, a couple of decades ago he was awarded a title of Honorary Citizenship by President Carter himself. Kote Mikadze, a skilled and experienced engineer has never lived without his music. He has composed and recorded more than fifty songs. He usually performs his own pieces, but somehow hates to promote them for the big stage. Zaur Mchedlishvili, a highly educated diplomat and one of the first representatives of modern Georgian diplomacy used to be Georgia's consul in Turkey for many years. Leri Goshadze is a merited architect of Georgia. Professional singer and musician and the baritone soloist of the group Badri Gvilava, is known for his elevated performance of west Georgian songs and heroic pieces. Vaso Nanobashvili is a master of East Georgian musical folklore whose colorful voice has indelibly impressed listeners for tens of years of his mesmerizing singing. Givi Shavgulidze, the eldest among the colleagues has honorably retired from Georgia's State Ensemble of Folk Dance and Song where he has worked for many long years. His crisp and clear tenor with a childish descant never stops flowing freely and sweetly. Kote Gogoladze, a metallurgist by education is also a tenor and has no peer in performing romances. Just sit down and listen to him perform if romantic singing means anything to you. And finally, composer Jemal Adamashvili! His professional musical education is as indispensable to the SHAVLEGO artists as a conductor for the symphony orchestra. He has diligently and patiently worked with the members of the group on enumerable songs that were both known and unknown to our public. 

Most of these talented performers have been educated as professional musicians and many of them have years of singing under their belt in widely recognized folk groups of the country. All of them have many times performed all over the country and outside it as the members of long-standing and widely recognized folklore groups. By the way, none of them is making any money at all by singing for the SHAVLEGO. Their only aim is the popularization of the amazing Georgian polyphonic singing. They always remain faithful to what a composer has created adjusting their natural vocal quality as well as their acquired professional skills to the original tissue of musical folklore of their motherland or the creation of a composer. Their powerful, mellow and color-rich voices and their valuable artistic experience give them every right to be proud of themselves but these wise and gifted Georgian artists are dealing with their popularity with outstanding modesty. They are no pursuers of a career, nor are they followers of ambitious aims. They simply do what they like and make no big deal out of the activity. They just sing for their own pleasure, entertaining and educating others unassumingly.

If there are any secrets in general of a human happiness, I think the SHAVLEGO 'boys' have mastered them undoubtedly: live and let live, enjoy and let others enjoy it too. Singing is one part of their life. There are many other things these gentlemen do in life, like taking care of their families, performing as Good Samaritans, teaching their beloved Georgian people how not to forget the great national traditions and setting an example for the younger generation of nobility and mutual tolerance. No doubt, they constitute a huge asset to this Nation.


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