Georgian Singing Workshop Online?!?

MusiCamp’s most popular activity is running Georgian singing workshops. We usually run singing workshops in the fall, winter and spring.  Our last one started late February – and after only 2 sessions, the workshop got hijacked by COVID 19 and the new social-distancing measures. So, in consultation with our workshop participants, we waited it out a bit, not sure how it would play out. While we all hoped this would pass quickly, we finally resigned to try it online. Of course, ZOOM isn’t the same thing, but as you can see from the image posted above or the videos below, we were all singing together and, in some inexplicable way, everyone felt so much happier after the session!! 

VIDEO OF ONLINE GROUP SINGING

 

HOW DOES SINGING HARMONIES WORK ONLINE?!


The short answer: it doesn’t. There will always be some kind of latency, even with the fastest internet speeds and the most advanced technology.

What makes it work for us is the fact that we are a singing family and have enough people in our household to sing all the harmonies – all three voices are covered on our end. The ZOOM participants actually sing along with us but they mute their mics so that their voices don’t lag and upset the musical form, as you can see in the videos.

VIDEO OF TEACHING

 

WORKING ONE-ON-ONE


Like in our studio, we teach the parts individually (see the video above). Participants’ mics still need to be muted for this. But there are times when mics are turned on, so we can have conversations, make a toast (once in a while only), or work one-on-one with individuals to ensure the vocal line is correct, or even work on technique. We actually had a great session a few weeks back working on some distinctive timbral issues and inflections with krimanchuli, a yodelling style in Georgian polyphony. 
VIDEO WORKING ONE ON ONE

TEACHING KRIMANCHULI  (Note: audio quality is poor due to the wrong  mic settings).

 

SING-ALONG FEATURE


We even offer the play-along or sing-along feature (trio minus one voice) so that participants can test themselves, make sure they can sing their part alone, and sort of feel what it’s like to fit their voice into the trio. In the video below, the participants can practice the top voice independence with the bass and middle being sung by the workshop leaders.

SING ALONG: TRIO MINUS ONE

 

FUTURE ONLINE WORKSHOPS 


WEDNESDAYS 7 PM – 9 PM EST (GMT – 4 hrs)
Suggested $20-30 for employed; PWYC for under employed

Let us know you are interested through our Contact Us Page or click on the PAY PAL button (make sure to enter you email address) and we’ll send you instructions for installing and running ZOOM and setting up your microphone up to work with musical content (rather than verbal content).

 
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and wash your spirit often with music ;) !!

URGNT LIVE: MAY 8

SAVE THE DATE!! FRIDAY MAY 8th 7:00 PM.


We were so honoured to get the invitation from our good friend and incredible musician Mark Marczyk (of Lemon Bucket Orkestra). When he first asked us, I don’t think we realized what sort of company we would be associated with or the reach it would have. But looking at the lineup and the list of co-presenters now, we are in awe!

Ori Shalva, our family ensemble, will be streaming at 7:45 PM on May 8. But have a look at the incredibly diverse and exciting lineup of musicians below, many of whom are internationally acclaimed and Juno award winning!  And plan a great evening of great music with URGNT.

And remember, it’s possible and important to support this meaningful cultural work via URGNT’s gofundme campaign.

LIVE STREAM ON MAY 8th 7:00-11:00 PM from:
MusiCamp’s FB page , URGNT or MacCleans.


A bit about URGNT: 

Starting as a livestream series in empty venues created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, URGNT LIVE, in partnership with Music Together ON and news magazine Maclean’s, quickly adapted to promote social distancing and create a curated platform to present and support the best of TO’s music online. We’re also grateful to the lovely folk at Folk Camp for choosing to cosponsor Ori Shalva!
Past shows can be seen here https://www.urgnt.ca/past

MAY 8: SCHEDULE, ARTISTS and CO-PRESENTERS

(Also brought to you by Shopify, Arts & Crafts, and Ontario Live via Ontario Creates)

7pm – Gryphon Trio Chamberfest
7:20pm – Kobo TownNorthern Lights Festival Boréal
7:45pm – Ori ShalvaFolk Camp
8:20pm – Laila BialiTD Sunfest
8:40pm – Stewart GoodyearThe Royal Conservatory of Music
9:00pm – Scott MerrittHillside Festival
9:20pm- Britta BUnity
9:45pm – OKANSunfest
10:10 – Meesha ShafiSmall World Music
10:30 – Skratch BastidURGNT

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

We hope to have the opportunity to cozy up with you in our studio and blend our voices into a warm harmony that will help pass the winter away.
 
A 6 Week Workshop
WEDNESDAY 7-9 PM FEB 19 – APR 1 (skipping Mar 4)
at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
More info or register by email through our contact page

IMG_1558Under the direction of Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich, MusiCamp will be hosting another Georgian singing workshop. Georgia, is located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its ancient singing tradition, known for its distinctive and haunting harmonies, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. The 3-part form defies Western conventions and comes in a plethora of musical dialects, reflecting the diverse geographical and cultural makeup of the land.
 

In this series, we’ll take a look a variety of regional styles and song-types (harvest/work/travel/table/love songs and chants). At the end of the 6 weeks we’ll have a little performance for friends and family… and a little toast – to keep it in the Georgian tradition…
 

 
Georgian-born singer/multi-instrumentalist Shalva Makharashvili and his Toronto-born partner, Andrea Kuzmich are Canada’s foremost experts in Georgian polyphony. Both Shalva and Andrea were featured soloists in Darbazi; founded the award-winning trio ZARI; perform with their family ensemble Ori Shalva; led Georgian workshops and/or have collaborated with many groups in Canada, including VIVA Youth Singers, Aradia Ensemble, UofT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Young Voices of Toronto and Folk Camp; and have exposed many in Toronto (enthusiastic amateur singers to professional musicians and composers) to the intricacies of Georgian polyphony through regular workshops they lead out of MusiCamp. (Andrea is also an academic (PhD ABD) who has presented and published papers on Georgian music to international audiences.)

To register for the workshop send us an email through the contact us page.

For some samples of Georgian songs have a listen to Shalva’s and Andrea’s trio soundcloud playlist or visit their website ZARI

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
WEDNESDAY 7-9 PM October 9 to November 13 2019.
at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
More info or register by email through our contact page

Have a quick peek at workshop leader, Shalva and his children singing with Basiani, a traditional Georgian choir. (Click on the photo.)

 

IMG_1558Take part in a Georgian singing workshop and join the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. Georgia, is located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its ancient singing tradition, known for its distinctive and haunting harmonies, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. The 3-part form defies Western conventions and comes in a plethora of musical dialects, reflecting the diverse geographical and cultural makeup of the land.
Canada’s foremost experts in Georgian polyphony, Georgian-born singer/multi-instrumentalist Shalva Makharashvili and his Toronto-born partner, Andrea Kuzmich, will be leading the workshop. Andrea is an academic (PhD ABD) who has presented and published papers on Georgian music to international audiences. Both Shalva and Andrea were featured soloists in Darbazi; founded the award-winning trio ZARI; perform with their family ensemble Ori Shalva; led Georgian workshops and/or have collaborated with many groups in Canada, including VIVA Youth Singers, Aradia Ensemble, UofT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Young Voices of Toronto and Folk Camp; and have exposed many in Toronto (enthusiastic amateur singers to professional musicians and composers) to the intricacies of Georgian polyphony through regular workshops they lead out MusiCamp.

In this series, we’ll take a look a variety of regional styles and song-types (harvest/work/travel/table/love songs and chants). At the end of the 6 weeks we’ll have a little performance for friends and family… and a little toast – to keep it in the Georgian tradition…

To register for the workshop send us an email through the contact us page.

For some samples of Georgian songs have a listen to Shalva’s and Andrea’s trio soundcloud playlist or visit their website ZARI

 

BODY PERCUSSION – BODY MUSIC – WORKSHOPS


Tuesday October 15
7:00 to 8:00 PM
in Dufferin Grove Park
at the shelter in the playground
More dates and locations to be added so stay tuned…

About 4 years ago, MusiCamp’s director and founder, Andrea Kuzmich, started exploring ways to use body percussion in our kid’s summer camps. It not only functioned as a pedagogical tool to help with rhythm and arranging, but also heightened the excitement of any song – and really was inspired by Andrea’s interest to instantaneously make a party-like atmosphere, any where, any time, without instruments, but through the body alone!

This past spring (June 2019) she was honoured to lead workshops on body percussion at the Ontario Womyn’s Drum Camp. In prep to do so, she started hosting informal body percussion sessions with adults at the MusiCamp studio.

With an interest to share and develop these skills more, Andrea will be hosting all-ages open workshops starting Tuesday September 24 to in Dufferin Grove park (meet at the shelter in the playground). More dates and locations will be added so visit back to hear more or sign up below and we’ll keep you updated. And feel free to have a look at our videos below.

Body Percussion Festival 2018

Body Percussion from our summer camps

West African Drumming Camp

 
This week is all about the GROOVE! and making ancient West African Drumming fun, accessible and challenging, all at the same time.

  • NO DRUM NEEDED!
  • explore polyrhythms on djembes and dunun (a series of double headed drums played on their side)
  • build instruments (diddley bos or bucket basses) and explore aspects of rhythm and acoustics
  • sing songs and learn dances relevant to the rhythms
  • and tap into the ancient knowledge of the West African Mande musical tradition

This goes way beyond a drum circle! Campers will not only learn patterns on djembe and develop skills to solo but will also learn the interlocking patterns on the dunun – the soul of the West African Mande drumming tradition. These rhythms can be extremely challenging, even to pro drummers!

But with the guidance of guest instructor Anna Melnikoff, West African Drumming week at MusiCamp is set up to engage and teach the absolute inexperienced while at the same time provide on-going challenges for advanced drummers. And of course, at the end of the week, campers will perform for friends and family!

End of Week Performance 2013

Below is a slightly edited video is from our 2013 week-end performance of the children-composed rhythm “Timbaraba.”

NOTE: Because the speakers of computers and portable devices aren’t designed to capture the bass, to hear the dunun pattern you need to listen to this video with headphones or good speakers.

Although it is difficult to see, at the back left are 3 double headed drums known as dunun. The dunun play a complex interlocking rhythm upon which the djembes play another rhythm or solo.

Check out our MusiCamp Flickr Gallery for more pics of MusiCamp

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THE GEORGIANS ARE COMING!

Don’t miss this very rare & exceptional opportunity to witness a millenia-old singing tradition from one of the world’s smallest & oldest surviving cultures.

People who are in the know are super excited. This sort of visit by 6 Georgians singers from the Didgori Folk Ensemble has never happened before in Canada. According to the long-time World Music Columnist for The Wholenote magazine, Andrew Timar,

It will be a huge moment for Georgian music in Canada, an opportunity that happens perhaps once in a lifetime (Andrew Timar, The Wholenote).

Didgori’s tour starts in Edmonton as part of a classical choral music festival and makes its way eastward. Thanks to co-presenters MusiCamp, Clay & Paper Theatre and Folk Camp Canada, Didgori will have their featured concert in Toronto on June 7 2019, 8 pm at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity St Paul’s Centre (427 Bloor St West). If you’re in Kingston, you also have the opportunity to see them on June 10 12:15 pm, as part of the Choir Festival Series at St George’s Cathedral (270 King St E).

JUST AS IT IS OLD, IT IS HARD TO DEFINE…

No, we are not talking about Georgia in the states. We are talking about the country that is situated in the Caucasian mountains, that borders the Black Sea and shares borders with Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. It is situated on the cusp of Asia and Europe, and it’s likeness to either is often debated.

Interestingly, there are no migratory myths for the Georgians (whose population is approximately 3.7 million). They are indigenous to the Caucasus. They call themselves Kartveli and their land Sakartvelo. Compared to neighbouring countries (and perhaps due to its mountainous terrain) Georgia is known to have 17 distinct sub-ethnic groups, each boasting its own musical dialect. (More academic info on Georgian Polyphony can be found here.)

Perhaps this is why Georgian traditional music is also hard to define. It is certainly vocal heavy but it seems to meld together all sorts of appealing sonic qualities that makes it amenable to fit into festivals featuring a variety of styles – from classical and early music to middle eastern, to folk, world music and even improvised and contemporary new music! Truth is, the best way to understand the various appeal and the uniqueness of the music is to experience it live, so check out their tour info (Didgori in Canada, Didgori in Toronto) and see if they are performing near you! (You can also follow that link for some sound bites and videos of the ensemble.)

A CHANCE TO SING WITH THEM …

To further the exceptional nature of their visit, they are also hosting workshops where you have the chance to join in on the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. In Toronto, they are hosting 2 workshops:

  • Saturday June 8 5-7 pm at St Vladimir Institute ( 620 Spadina Ave, just S of Harbord)
  • Sunday June 9 11-4pm at MusiCamp Studio (11 Cobourg Ave, near Dufferin Mall)

But there are also workshops being held in Edmonton, Winnipeg and parts of Quebec. For more info, please visit the Didgori in Canada page. And don’t forget to tell everyone:

“THE GEORGIANS ARE COMING”

#TheGeorgiansAreComing

#DidgoriFolkinCanada

 

Didgori in Toronto

DIDGORI tickets on sale today, June 7, at the door. CASH ONLY. Students/Seniors must bring ID. Doors Open 7:30 PM

MusiCamp in partnership with Clay & Paper Theatre and Folk Camp Canada presents:

DIDGORI IN TORONTO


Friday June 7 2019 8 PM
THE CONCERT
at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity St Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor St West
$30/$15 student
TICKETS GO ON SALE START OF MAY

Saturday June 8 2019 5-7pm
OPEN WORKSHOP
St Vladimir Institute ( 620 Spadina Ave, just S of Harbord)
$25 at the door (strongly suggested but no one will be turned away)

Sunday June 9 2019 11-4pm
WORKSHOP INTENSIVE
advanced singers, limited to 12 participants at MusiCamp Studio, Toronto $100 contact MusiCamp to register
 

Didgori in Toronto Press Release

For more information about Didgori, for audio/video, or to learn of other performances as part of their Canada tour, visit Didgori in Canada.

 

 

FREE African Drumming Workshop Jun 8 2019 at 1:25 PM

West African Drumming Workshop open to kids and their parents!

June 8 2019 1:25 pm to 2:30 pm at the MusiCamp YOUTH STAGE at
the Dundas West Festival, 1496 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin

 

This goes way beyond a drum circle!
West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe and will also demonstrate the interlocking patterns on the dunun – the soul of the West African Mande drumming tradition. These rhythms can be extremely challenging, even for pro drummers! And with Anna’s guidance, this workshop is set up to engage and teach the absolute inexperienced while at the same time provide on-going challenges for advanced drummers.

 

In this workshop kids (& parents) will:

  • learn the difference between 3 basic slaps (slap, tone & bass) on the djembe
  • have a chance to practice these on the drum with a fun etude that develops these rudiments
  • have a chance to play the dunun
  • learn a basic accompaniment pattern
  • have a chance to solo
And we’ll even do some singing! Have listen to us at the 2015 Dundas West Festival.

 

The video to your left is from MusiCamp’s Summer Camps. the West African Drumming week. (Note: If you want to hear the groovy bass you’ll have to use headphones.)

Mande drumming is based on three stand-up drums called the dunun that play three interlocking rhythms often thought of as the melody. The djembes play accompanying patterns on top of this and are also used for soloing. To learn more about the Mande drumming tradition follow this link or if you are interested in our West African Drumming summer camp click here.

Didgori in Toronto

MusiCamp in partnership with Clay & Paper Theatre and Folk Camp Canada presents:

DIDGORI IN TORONTO


Friday June 7 2019 8 PM
THE CONCERT
at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity St Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor St West
$30/$15 student
TICKETS GO ON SALE START OF MAY

Saturday June 8 2019 5-7pm
OPEN WORKSHOP
St Vladimir Institute ( 620 Spadina Ave, just S of Harbord)
$25 at the door (strongly suggested but no one will be turned away)

Sunday June 9 2019 11-4pm
WORKSHOP INTENSIVE
advanced singers, limited to 12 participants at MusiCamp Studio, Toronto $100 contact MusiCamp to register
 

Didgori in Toronto Press Release

For more information about Didgori, for audio/video, or to learn of other performances as part of their Canada tour, visit Didgori in Canada.