Georgian ensemble, Amer-Imeri. Workshop and supra, Glasgow

Sat May 11 2024 at 02:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Queen's Park Govanhill Parish Church | Glasgow

Georgian ensemble, Amer-Imeri. Workshop and supra, Glasgow
A group of singers drawn from Mtiebi and Amer-Imeri, renowned vocal ensembles from the Republic of Georgia, are touring the UK during May 2024, teaching and performing polyphonic songs, and appearing as guests of honour at a weekend residential event.
In Glasgow the visiting singers will be teaching a full afternoon workshop of songs, together with dance and folklore. In the evening this will be followed by a bring and share supra, or Georgian feast.
NOTE: The previous evening there will be a full length concert in Edinburgh.
The Republic of Georgia, in the Caucasus mountains, boasts a rich and ancient UNESCO listed tradition of complex polyphony. Like Georgia itself, the music sits at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, yet has its own, truly unique character. It blends challenging, dissonant and microtonal chords with sweet and lyrical close harmonies. Ancient pagan, shamanic ritual songs with soaring liturgical chants. Powerful work songs, rousing wedding songs, and modern, composed songs all continue this music into the present day. Encompassing thirteen regional styles, the music from the east and west of Georgia are quite distinct, with that of the Gurian region on the Black Sea coast being particularly complex, and often including a fourth, yodeling voice, known as krimanchuli.

On this tour we will have the pleasure of welcoming twelve singers drawn from Mtiebi and Amer-Imeri ensembles.
Mtiebi choir was founded in 1980 by the renowned ethnomusicologist, Edisher Garakanidze, and soon established itself as one of the foremost ensembles dedicated to pioneering the research and revival of the traditional singing and folklore practices of Georgia. Edisher was also a key figure in introducing Georgian polyphonic singing to the UK.
In 1991 Edisher and his wife, Nino Baghaturia, created a youth ensemble, Amer-Imeri, through which many current members of Mtiebi have trained. From 2001-2012 Amer-Imeri was directed by Edisher’s son, Gigi (Giorgi) Garakanidze, since when it has been headed by its current leader, Magda Kevlishvili.
The main creative principle behind both choirs is understanding and performing the songs alongside the folklore, dances and rituals that are integral to them. Younger singers in Amer-Imeri learn traditional Georgian children’s games and dances, and traditional instruments. They become familiar with the history and mythology of Georgia, and they learn church hymns and participate in divine service. The singers and teachers travel to different regions of Georgia and learn directly from tradition bearers, and the new generation of singers learn to perform songs freely and independently, without the guidance of elders, just as their peers historically sang in the countryside. And, having learned the traditions and made them their own, they create their own folklore, with improvisation and ornamentation of songs and lyrics, games, tongue twisters, and mocking verses.
Amer-Imeri bring all this to their performance and teaching, but also into their everyday lives.
Recognised by numerous awards over three decades, both in Georgia and internationally, Amer-Imeri was the winner of the 2022 Georgian National Folklore Festival, was featured on BBC radio and television in 2002, and has participated in folklore festivals in Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
WORKSHOP 2–5.00pm
The workshop is open to all. Songs will be taught by ear, and there is no need to read music or know the Georgian language. Songs taught in the workshop will be sung together at the ts'utisopeli weekend.
SUPRA 6.30–9.30pm
Following the workshop you are invited to join us for a supra, or ritual Georgian feast.
Georgia has a distinctive and sophisticated feasting culture that celebrates the relationship between the host and honoured guests. Led by a toastmaster, or 'tamada', the supra tradition combines the sharing of delicious food with heartfelt toasts and song.
This will be a 'bring and share' supra, meaning that everyone attending is invited to contribute a dish. This doesn't have to be Georgian, or even homemade. But if you would like to try your hand at making a Georgian dish, this is definitely welcomed and encouraged.
Student, unwaged and in receipt of disability or income related benefits. Children and carers accompanying a registered disabled person may attend free.
Workshop £18/15 Supra £8/6 Combined £24/18

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Queen's Park Govanhill Parish Church, 170 Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8QZ, United Kingdom,Glasgow, United Kingdom


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