20 episodes

Folk music podcast transporting you to the Republic of Georgia. Bringing songs and stories from women singers. Hosted by Holly Taylor-Zuntz and Susan Thompson.

Voices of the Ancestors Holly Taylor-Zuntz and Susan Thompson

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Folk music podcast transporting you to the Republic of Georgia. Bringing songs and stories from women singers. Hosted by Holly Taylor-Zuntz and Susan Thompson.

    Rituals of the Singing Village - Chamgeliani Sisters - Series 2 Episode 4

    Rituals of the Singing Village - Chamgeliani Sisters - Series 2 Episode 4

    How do you welcome the souls of your ancestors? Why are wolves sacred? Can you sing and dance through grief?

    An audio journey to the highest mountains of Georgia - Svaneti. We meet Ana, Madona and Eka Chamgeliani, three sisters keeping the ancient traditions of their village, Lakhushdi, alive.

    We hear:-
    How their mother and grandmother passed on local traditions, protecting them from dying out.
    -How a round dance, found in the capital, was taught to Maspindzeli (London based Georgian choir) and revived in its home village.
    - How Madona took on the entire orthodox patriarchy and won the right to continue the ancient song and dance ritual of Tanghiloba,
    - The legend of St. George becoming a werewolf
    - The infamous story of a Cockerel taken to a Tbilisi hospital to catch the souls.
    - A storyteller and a singer-songwriter’s first impressions of a country whose songs they love but had never visited.
    - A ballad performed live by all three sisters accompanied by Svan stringed instrument the chuniri

    Voices of the Ancestors by Holly Taylor-Zuntz and Susan Thompson.
    If you enjoyed this episode, why not buy the creators a coffee?
    On ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors
    Support the podcast on patreon www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors
    Sign up for our email updates and never miss an episode: eepurl.com/hhgoOf
    Navigate this episode with the searchable transcript, available here voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts

    Music in this episode:
    Live recording of a Svanetian Ballad sung by Ana, Eka and Madona Chamgeliani with Ana playing chuniri.
    Barbal Dolash from THE SINGING VILLAGE (Lakhushdi) https://georgianfolksinging.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-singing-village-lakhushdi with Ana and Madona Chamgeliani and Levan Biatrovi
    Tanghili chant - Diadeb sung by the elders of Lakhushdi, recorded by Gosia Kaszhubska

    Links:
    Chamgeliani’s Concerts in Europe November 2023
    https://europalia.eu/en/europalia-georgia/events/basiani-ensemble-chamgeliani-sisters
    Basiani Ensemble and the Chamgeliani Sisters - ARSONIC, MARS-MONS ARTS DE LA SCÈNE
    Date/Time: 15/11/2023 - 19:00:00
    ADDRESS: Rue de Nimy 138 - 7000 Mons
    https://europalia.eu/en/europalia-georgia/events/chamgeliani-sisters-didgori-ensemble
    Chamgeliani Sisters and the Didgori Ensemble
    Date/Time: 11/11/2023 - 19:00:00
    ADDRESS: Molière Theater, Porte de Namur Gallery 3, Square du Bastion - 1050 Brussels

    Film links:
    Life in 3 Voices https://lifeinthreevoices.com/ - A documentary film following Ensemble Adilei and the Chamgeliani sisters, both on tour in the US, and in their native Georgia. A Film by Marina Kaganova & Leo Decristoforo.

    Adventures in Singing https://youtu.be/eVze6oVbniE?si=CHvslwWKVZoVnXqg - The experience of non-Georgians learning to sing Georgian polyphonic songs, with insights from master singers. By David Ring.

    Lakhushdi: The Singing Village https://youtu.be/hZ_zhyYQCgc?si=-8XWHmAjrBxHCHfd - Work and play in the village of Lakhushdi. Villagers practice traditional polyphonic song and circle dance. In July 2011 villagers welcomed guests to learn the songs and take part in the Festival - The Feast of Limkheri. The festival is celebrated at the 14th Century Chapel on the wooded hill above the village. The village is home to a cultural and development co-operative, The Union Lidbashi.By MikeSpringVideos. https://www.youtube.com/@MikeSpringVideos

    Feasting and Singing in Svaneti https://youtu.be/ARQ63OZJmnY?si=tc8psdRc9vllVEmM Our guests enjoyed a home cooked meal in the home of the Chamgeliani sisters in upper Svaneti. A highlight was hearing them sing traditional polyphony! John Graham Tours https://www.youtube.com/@JohnGrahamTours

    On Bandcamp https://georgianfolksinging.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-singing-village-lakhushdi

    On Georgian Chant http://www.georgianchant.org/svan-chant-intro/ - An introduction to Svanetian Chant by ethnomusicologist Matthew Knight.

    The House of Song, Lakhushdi (fundraiser now closed)
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lakhushdi-house-of-song

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Nino Kaladadze Remembered

    Nino Kaladadze Remembered

    “Nino was like a fish in water amongst all the musical genres of Georgian folk, but especially so amongst the lullabies.”

    Voices of the Ancestors podcast tribute to Nino Kalandadze-Makaradze, a respected ethnomusicologist, editor and singer with ensemble Mzetamze.

    In the episode you will:
    Meet Nino through interviews with fellow Mzetamze singer - Nana Valishvili, former student - Lola Surmanidze and the musicologist/cultural anthropologist Ekaterine Diasamidze Graham.
    Listen to Nino Naneishvili with ensemble Ialoni improvising an ‘Iavnana’ musical response to the loss of Nino.
    Hear a Rachian dance song from Mzetamze’s 2002 concert at SOAS, UK recorded by Geoff Burton.

    Resources:
    Transcript https://voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts-with-links-to-people-places-music
    Voices of the Ancestors podcast Website
    www.voicesoftheancestors.co.uk
    From Rust to Roadtrip video featuring Zikr ceremony:
    https://youtu.be/By1rEPS_RWQ
    Mzetamze recorded on larynx mics by Frank Scherbaum:
    https://www.audiolabs-erlangen.de/resources/MIR/2017-GeorgianMusic-Scherbaum

    Please become a supporter of the arts on our donation platforms: Ko-fi www.ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors and on Patreon www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors.

    Music:-
    Veengara - Mzetamze
    Khevsuretian lullaby (Nane) - Mzetamze
    Batonebis Nanina - Mzetamze recorded by Frank Sherbaum
    Rachuli Satsekvao - dance song from live concert recording by Geoff Burton at SOAS London 2002
    Iavnana - Ialoni improvising live recording (the song is from Shalva Aslanishvili’s old recordings in Racha).
    Chemo Dav - Mzetamze
    Bindisperia Sopeli - Holly, Nana Valishvili & Susan live recording

    • 40 min
    On Folk Instruments with Nino Razmadze

    On Folk Instruments with Nino Razmadze

    Can you tell your changis from your chuniris from your chonguris? You’ll often see one of them in the hands of Trio Mandili. Don’t worry, our guest Nino Razmadze talks us through all the folk instruments of Georgia in this informative episode. Combine listening, with looking at the transcript, and you will become familiar with both the sound and looks of Georgian folk instruments.

    Even if you’re familiar with the sound of a chonguri, you won’t have heard the field recording Nino made of the great player Polikarpe Khubulava.

    Nino is an ethnomusicologist and deputy director of the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatoire. She’s about to complete her PhD on Folk instruments. Nino is the founder of Gogora wooden toy company. She is passionate about developing designs from folk themes.

    Our chat touches on:-
    The spiritual significance of instruments in rituals such as ‘catching the soul’ and Batonebi.
    Embroidery designs - Nino says “if somebody wants to make a new socks they can check, maybe 500 socks and understand which kind of colour they can use, which kind of ornaments and have they put together” - Download link -https://voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/voices-of-the-ancestors-all-episodes#Textile_ornaments
    Working with the Bate Collection of musical Instruments in Oxford


    Are girls more likely to play the chonguri or the bagpipes? What is the professional name for a group of cow bells? How do tuning systems change with instruments between regions? All your burning questions and more are answered in this interview.

    Music in this episode
    Intro: Makharia, chonguri. From the Ialoni album, 'I fell in love with that sweet voice'
    Khorumi from Merisi in Ajara (supplied by Nino Razmadze)
    Daira - Lola and Gratsia from Mountains of Tongues LP playing garmoni and daira.
    Satsekvao - panduri by Mzetamze
    Intro to Irinola on chuniri by Anna Chamgeliani
    Mze shinao by Sathanao, Lullaby from Samegrelo played on chonguri.
    Ensemble Lashari play tushuri melodies with salamuri (supplied by Nino Razmadze).
    The sound of the larchemi (supplied by Nino Razmadze)
    Merisi Khorumi (supplied by Nino Razmadze)
    Chemo Zalo by Mzetamze
    Papiko playing chuniri (supplied by Nino Razmadze)
    Ase Chonguri by Ensemble Shavnabada
    Sabodisho batonebo by Ialoni
    Polikarpe Khubulava (field recording by Nino Razmadze)
    Givi pirtskelani playing changi - chiche tura (field recording by Nino Razmadze)
    Avksenti Megrelidze’s choir - dedats miqvars (Alazani.ge Thanks to Teo Lomsadze for sourcing music.)

    Voices of the Ancestors by Holly Taylor-Zuntz and Susan Thompson.
    If you enjoyed this episode, why not buy the creators a coffee?
    On ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors
    Support the podcast on patreon www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors
    Sign up for our email updates and never miss an episode: eepurl.com/hhgoOf
    Navigate this episode with the searchable transcript, available here voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts-with-links-to-people-places-music#On_folk_instruments
    To be invited to the Voices of the Ancestors Community - on Facebook, click this link and answer the questions www.facebook.com/groups/516207299354485/

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Tamar Buadze Part 1

    Tamar Buadze Part 1

    Voices of Our Grandmothers with guest Tamar Buadze and interpreter Zoé Perret.

    Kicking off series 2, innovative choir conductor Tamar Buadze tells the surprising tale of how she came to work with Laz songs, while living in Rustavi (far, far away from Laz regions in Georgia and Turkey). One of her former students tells us what it was like to grow up in a folk choir, and tells us (one version of) the story behind the Abkhazian song Varado. But best of all Tamar shares with us the tone-bending voice of her Megrelian grandmother.

    Tamar graduated from Tbilisi State Conservatory and is the head of Rustavi Music school. She leads Tutarchela women and youth choirs (https://www.facebook.com/tutarchelachoir), who participate in a number of prestigious European festivals, as well as many other groups. Across her various choirs, she teaches around 250 people a week!
    As well as leading outdoor open-access singing workshops (ground-breaking for her native Georgia), she teaches for the International Singing Project ‘ChorOnline’, and has taught American women’s ensemble Kitka.

    Tamar’s approach to teaching folklore is holistic, incorporating games and dances into the music. Her student Ninutsa says
    “all the appreciation, taste of music, anything connected to music for me comes from Tamar. Not only about music, but - she really raised us.’
    She has brought European techniques such as the Kodály method to her adult and youth choirs in Georgia.

    Her arrangements of Laz songs can be found in ‘Songbook Georgia’, which focuses on the female repertoire of traditional folk songs: https://www.amazon.com/Songbook-Georgia-Liederbuch-Georgien-Weltkulturerbe/dp/3954903016

    Donate to help tell more women's stories:-
    ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors
    www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors

    Join our community facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/516207299354485

    Sign up for our email updates and never miss an episode: eepurl.com/hhgoOf
    Searchable transcript, available here voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts.

    • 44 min
    Tamar Buadze Part 2

    Tamar Buadze Part 2

    Voices of Our Grandmothers with guest Tamar Buadze and interpreter Zoé Perret.

    Kicking off series 2, innovative choir conductor Tamar Buadze tells the surprising tale of how she came to work with Laz songs, while living in Rustavi (far, far away from Laz regions in Georgia and Turkey). One of her former students tells us what it was like to grow up in a folk choir, and tells us (one version of) the story behind the Abkhazian song Varado. But best of all Tamar shares with us the tone-bending voice of her Megrelian grandmother.

    Tamar graduated from Tbilisi State Conservatory and is the head of Rustavi Music school. She leads Tutarchela women and youth choirs (https://www.facebook.com/tutarchelachoir), who participate in a number of prestigious European festivals, as well as many other groups. Across her various choirs, she teaches around 250 people a week!
    As well as leading outdoor open-access singing workshops (ground-breaking for her native Georgia), she teaches for the International Singing Project ‘ChorOnline’, and has taught American women’s ensemble Kitka.

    Tamar’s approach to teaching folklore is holistic, incorporating games and dances into the music. Her student Ninutsa says
    “all the appreciation, taste of music, anything connected to music for me comes from Tamar. Not only about music, but - she really raised us.’
    She has brought European techniques such as the Kodály method to her adult and youth choirs in Georgia.

    Her arrangements of Laz songs can be found in ‘Songbook Georgia’, which focuses on the female repertoire of traditional folk songs: https://www.amazon.com/Songbook-Georgia-Liederbuch-Georgien-Weltkulturerbe/dp/3954903016

    Donate to help tell more women's stories:-
    ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors
    www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors

    Join our community facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/516207299354485

    Sign up for our email updates and never miss an episode: eepurl.com/hhgoOf
    Searchable transcript, available here voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts.

    • 29 min
    Singing Landscapes, from Georgia to the Balkans with Briget Boyle

    Singing Landscapes, from Georgia to the Balkans with Briget Boyle

    In this episode, our friend Jen Morris takes over the role of interviewer. She speaks with Briget Boyle, vocal coach and singer with Balkan Women's ensemble @kitka, bringing the west coast USA perspective to ‘Voices of the Ancestors’.

    They chat about:-
    working with powerful female teachers like Tamar Buadze, in Georgia and Svetlana Spajić in Serbia.
    How to sing ‘folk music’ from a grounded, rooted place in your own landscape.
    Briget’s insight into what ‘Voices of the Ancestors’ means for her, describing three types of ancestors - genetic, spiritual and ‘humanity’.

    Briget shares experiences with Georgian songs in Temple of Light Choir directed by Kristine Barrett (a sort of Kitka community choir) and in True Life Trio. Jen shares experiences of her Georgian choir ‘onefourfive’ and Seattle's balkan women's ensemble @Dunava

    Donate to help tell more women's stories:-
    https://ko-fi.com/voicesoftheancestors
    https://www.patreon.com/voicesoftheancestors

    Join our community facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/516207299354485

    Sign up for our email updates and never miss an episode: eepurl.com/hhgoOf
    Searchable transcript, available here voicesoftheancestors.co.uk/transcripts.

    Music:
    Mother, Moon,/ It Will Never Again Be What it Was, / and Love from True Life Trio’s album “Like Never, Like Always”.
    Shen Khar Venakhi, from Kitka’s album “The Vine”,
    Mokle Mravalzhamier from Ensemble Zedashe’s album “Our Earth and Water”
    Tamar Buadze and Teona Kutsia sing a mashup of a Spanish song and Laz song, simply titled Espanur-Laz, which is available on YouTube.
    Ukrainian folk song Vdova, sung by Ukrainian ensemble Drevo.
    Serbian Medley, from Dunava’s album Behind the Veil.
    Bedinera from the CD: Teach Yourself Megrelian Songs, by Polikarpe in a trio.
    Žegar Polye, or Žegar Field Feeds My Lamb, from Svetlana Spajić.

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Killer Shrimp ,

Joy to listen to

Inspiring and soothing podcast, full of fascinating insights about one of the most beautiful polyphonic musical styles on Earth.

lazy sender ,

Voices of the Ancestors Series Two

Intimate, uplifting, inspiring and beautiful;
This very enjoyable start for the second series.
We are taken into the hearts of these women, and it’s so lovely to feel inside of their group as the younger generation describe the joy they experience.
Well done, team!

MirandaGKayM ,

Beautiful Unique Earworm!

Adore this, such a warm, enthusiastic podcast delving into the world of Georgian polyphonic song. The sense of community is wonderful, and quite inspiring in this mad time that is 2020-21. Recommend to any vaguely curious listeners searching for a new podcast!

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