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The singing of the Chveneburebi of Inegol

By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, April 17
Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Folklore Center and Georgian Chanting Foundation held a concert on April 15 in Tbilisi, Rustaveli Theater and will hold another one in the Batumi Drama Theater on April 17.

A presentation of the four-volume edition of ‘Georgian Polyphony in Western Turkey: On the Footsteps of Peter Gold’ took place. The presentation featured the concert, in which local singers and dancers took place.

Host ensembles included Elesa and Bermukha. It is noteworthy that Nino Razmadze was a project director.

In 2018 with the financial support of the Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, and “Georgian Chanting Foundation” International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatoire published the book “Georgian Polyphony in Western Turkey: In the footsteps of Peter Gold” (in Georgia, Turkish, English and German); the book was published by WPN Polish Publishers especially for Frankfurt Book Fair.

The book keeps the traditional music of Georgians residing in Inegol.

American anthropologist Peter Gold recorded traditional music of the Georgians exiled in Turkey in the 19th century, in Inegol (Turkey) in 1968. Part of the material was published in 1972 in the name of world-famous Indiana University archives, USA.

Peter Gold has also preserved the 1965-1966 recordings of Ahmed Melashvili – a Georgian from Turkey, who guided him in the expedition.

Inegol is a place where ancient Adjarian songs and dances are kept with have great potential for recognition as an intangible cultural heritage.

The event was supported by the Turkish Embassy in Tbilisi and Hayriye Village Georgian Tourism and Cultural Association. The event was attended by the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, Ambassador of Turkey, HE Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport Mikheil Giorgadze and representatives of other organizations.

It is worth mentioning that the International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony was established in 2003 on the basis of Georgian Folk Music Department and the Laboratory of Secular and Sacred Music of Tbilisi State Conservatoire. The Center constantly seeks for old recordings of Georgian traditional music and publishes them.

In 2003-2006 the Center developed the joint project of UNESCO and Japanese Funds-in-Trust – “Safeguarding and Protection of Georgian Polyphony”, which provided the basis for the direction of the Center’s main activities.