2021 SPRING BODY PERCUSSION WORKSHOPS

A fun, physically active, movement and rhythm workshop, and a great workout for the brain…

With workshops for the Ontario Womyn’s Winter Drum Camp and our own zoom classes, we had a great go of winter. But spring is here now, so no matter your level, no matter your experience, we invite you to join us online and make music with your bodies.

Body Percussion Tuesdays!!

Next workshop is TUESDAY APRIL 20
and every other Tuesday
7:00-7:45
ish PM EST on ZOOM!!

$10-15 for employed, PWYC for underemployed
(per Tuesday class)

Sign up with our PAY PAL link (be sure to grab the zoom link when you do) or use our Contact Us Page for more info.

A PHYSICALLY FUN AND ACTIVE WORKSHOP FOR BODY AND BRAIN
These are physically active workshops, where layers of rhythm are overlapped to make some serious groove. A singing component involves vocalizing rhythms as well as singing songs and riffs, sometimes in harmony. With all these layers, we’ll challenge your brain but in such a fun way! Without realizing it, you’ll develop a stronger sense of rhythm but also experience the pure joy of making music solely with your body.
Below is a fun arrangement based on a Ukrainian new year carol.

BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE
Because we start with simple patterns and build upon them, our workshops accommodate both beginner and intermediate levels. Those who are more adept are given more challenging rhythms to layer on top of a basic rhythm. Alternatively, those challenged by the more demanding rhythms can practice holding the simpler rhythmic pattern. Vocals, like singing or vocalizing rhythms, are another layer that can be added.

IN EACH WORKSHOP: DRILLS, SONGS and ARRANGEMENTS
Each workshop will usually start with drilling some rhythm rudiments to develop and strengthen your technique – all in a fun and accessible way. But within the span of a 2-4 workshops, we’ll also be working on a single arrangement, that way people can take the time to learn the choreography while developing their skill.


For the end of March through April we’ll be working on a piece based on a West African Song called Baga Gine. You can see a bit of the song in the video below, but we’ll also be including a break and something of a coda, the latter which you can hear in the videos below (note, one of them is a funny sped up video from one of our past workshops).

Around the spring of 2014, 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!

In the spring of 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. These eventually evolved to online workshops in 2020, but…

Since body percussion can be done, outside, and in a socially-distanced responsible way, Andrea will be hosting workshops again outside in Toronto’s West End as soon as the stay at home order lightens. Visit back for more dates and/or let us know if you are interested.

Body Percussion Festival 2018

Body Percussion from our kids’ summer camps

Georgian Singing Workshop Online?!?

Starting February 6!

ONLINE WORKSHOPS via ZOOM
SATURDAYS 2-4 pm EST (7 pm GMT)
Starting February 6th, and
EVERY OTHER SATURDAY AFTER

$20-30 for employed; pwyc for underemployed.

Questions?
A song requests?
Or want to sign up?
Drop us a line or click the PAY PAL button (make sure to enter your email address) and we’ll send you the zoom link.

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 2020 – and after only 2 sessions, the workshop got hijacked by COVID 19 and the new social-distancing measures. Somehow, we transferred these harmony singing workshops to ZOOM and as you can see from the image posted above or the videos below, we were all singing together and, in some inexplicable way, it worked!! Here’s what a few of our participants have to say about it:

Thank you for a wonderful workshop and an opportunity to learn from artists with such integrity, talent and hospitality… The workshops are well structured, easy to follow and very enjoyable. – Merey Ismailova

An enjoyable sharing of interesting songs, singing and music. With a smiley side of open hearts and kindred spirits. – Jan Knoppers

If you want to learn more about how we teach harmonized singing online, please read on. 


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.


VIDEOS 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


WORKSHOPS WILL START AGAIN FEBRUARY 6
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 spoken content).

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

HAPPY HEALTHY & CREATIVE 2021

HAPPY HEALTHY & CREATIVE 2021

We at MusiCamp want to wish you the best for the new year and hope your 2021 is filled with happiness and health. 2020 has been one of the most challenging year for so many and while I know some people are still ambivalent to what 2021 will bring, we remain hopeful – at least hopeful for more music and creativity! Have a look at what MusiCamp has in store…

UPDATES

FESTIVE SPIRIT TO SHARE

With the spirit that Christmas carols are all about celebrating rebirth and renewal, we’re sharing these downloads of carols, released only last week and and featuring the fabulous percussion of Jaash Singh.


GEORGIAN SINGING ONLINE, STARTING AGAIN!

Starting up again mid-late January, our singing family will be zooming with you, providing all 3-voices to teach Georgian songs. Look for updates on our page.


OUTDOOR BODY PERCUSSION BODY MUSIC

For West End Toronto folks: free or pwyc, outdoor, socially distanced, body percussion workshops in January. Starting Tuesday January 5 2-3pm at Christie and Bloor. Beginner/intermediate level. Learn more here.


WINTER VIRTUAL WOMYN’S DRUM CAMP


February 5-7, MusiCamp’s Andrea Kuzmich will be one of many facilitators at this winter camp for women, which features workshops on drumming, kirtan, dance, sound healing and more
Free/pwyc event. Click here to register.

ORI SHALVA IN THE PARK

While we recorded this in August, it was only released last month and features excellent production quality by Labyrinth Ontario, which also produced a number of other exceptional performances and interviews with traditional musicians in Toronto. Hope you get a chance to check them all out.

Ori Shalva & co. (aka the Makharashvili Family)

Over the centuries, family ensemble singing has played a significant role in keeping traditional Georgian polyphonic singing alive. And true to this preserving nature, the Makharashvili family continues this practice despite being relocated half way around the world, over 9000 km from the well springs of the tradition. While both Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich are professional musicians (with over 50 years of experience between the 2 of them – you can read their individual bios below) the Makharashvili family unit started performing in private settings for marked family and calendric events. As the children aged and developed more skills and repertoire, the family found themselves in more performance opportunities, whether they be in cameo appearances on stages in Toronto (see the video below from 2010), NY and Georgia, or in more recent features such as Harbourfront’s Body Percussion Festival (see video below), Toronto’s Annual Black Out Party 2018, or Toronto’s First Georgian Cultural festival, Sept 30 2018. At the end of 2019, Ori Shalva also recorded for the television show “Sounds of Canada” to represent traditional Georgian polyphony among the talent of Canada’s mosaic cultural communities. In 2020, they were featured in a number of online showcases and were hosting Georgian Singing Workshops online.

By the way, Shalva is a traditional Georgian name and is the name of two of the members of the ensemble. Ori means 2 – which is why we call the group Ori Shalva & co.

Another side note: an off-shoot of Ori-Shalva is Gabo’s Trio.

Have a look at some videos over the years: teaching online, on stage (at Small World Music and Harbourfront Centre), in Georgia (with Basiani Ensemble at a grape harvesting festival)  and in Tobermory. Also have a read to learn more about Shalva or Andrea’s professional work.

 

SHALVA MAKHARASHVILI, a Georgian native, has been performing the music of his homeland for over 35 years. Starting with the panduri (a 3-stringed indigenous lute) at the age of 4, his musical education included training in voice, tradition and classical choral repertoire, classical guitar, and traditional dance. As a young man he toured Georgia and the former Soviet Union in a number of choirs as featured soloist and instrumentalist (panduri and guitar player). Besides panduri, Shalva plays changi (harp), chonguri (a 4-stringed lute) and chiboni (bagpipes). Since his immigration to Toronto he has received a number of awards and featured on CBC radio. He was a soloist in and used to lead the community choir Darbazi and sings with his professional trio ZARI as well as numerous ad hoc groups within the Georgian community. He also chants numerous times per week in services for the Georgian Orthodox Church. He maintains close ties with the traditional singing community in Georgia, where he is highly respected as a singer as well as for his work in disseminating Georgian

  

 
  

ANDREA KUZMICH is an award winning singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist and music facilitator. Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings where by the age of 16 she was a cellist with the McMaster Symphony and had sung in four different Canadian Opera Company productions. Andrea has also: sung in a Congolese Gospel Choir; studied Balkan folk music, South Indian singing and drumming, and West African drumming; performed in Big Bands, small jazz combos, as well as contemporary new music ensembles; taken a leading role in the practice of ridnyj holos (Ukrainian traditional singing) in Canada through Kosa Kolektiv and Kalendar (formerly KalynDar); become one of Canada’s foremost practitioners and academics of Georgian polyphony; sings in the professional Georgian trio ZARI and was also a lead soloist in the community choir DARBAZI. Inspired by this diversity, she started MusiCamp in 2013, a Toronto studio that hosts workshops, kids camps and facilitates musical events. She can be heard on Veryan Weston’s “Make” (2017); Tanya Tagaq’s “Retribution” (2016); DoVira’s “DoVira” (2016); Kalendar’s “Sichen” (2016); ZARI’s “ZARI” (2008); Whitney’s Smith Big Steam Band’s “Swing’s Mistress” (1998); movie soundtrack “The Witch” (2015); documentary soundtrack “What is Love” (2016), among others.