Culture Connect Featured Event
The Sakhioba Ensemble is dedicated entirely to the performance and popularization of traditional Georgian folksongs and liturgical hymns. They have performed widely since their founding in 2006, and have recorded five compact disks of previously unreleased traditional material. Their recent tour in England and Scotland (November, 2011), including performances at Cambridge, Oxford, and BBC Radio, received excellent reviews and standing ovations. The Sakhioba ensemble performs all songs as close to their original context as possible, which makes for highly entertaining performances. Joke songs are sung in a clowning act, dance songs are accompanied by lively martial dances, solo ballad songs are accompanied by the gudistviri bagpipe or the panduri lute, while worksongs are sung in three or four part antiphonal chorus as they would have been sung in the mowing field. Subtle aspects of traditional performance practice that were disregarded in the Soviet era are very important to the Sakhioba ensemble, such as the use of improvisation in the upper solo voice-parts, the refinement of Georgian traditional tuning in its three-voiced harmonic context, and the use of dialectic nuances in the rendering of text. This focus makes the Sakhioba Ensemble one of the leaders in the revival of traditional music in Georgia today.