COVID 19 and MusiCamp

Protect yourself: wash your spirit with music, often…

It is without doubt that the performing arts are charting untrodden territory in the COVID-era. Compared to many arts organizations and innovative artists, MusiCamp has been a bit slow in response to the epidemic. Clearly, we can no longer offer our singing workshops. And it was a sad day for us when the Dundas West Festival was postponed and we wouldn’t be able to present the incredibly diverse musical youth in our community at the MusiCamp Youth Stage. It was particularly sad because I, as an artist in residence at Dewson Public School, had been working with a group of rather talented grade 5 and 6 youth, and was inadvertently mobilizing a body percussion troupe that were creative, energized and excited to be part of the Dundas West Fest. But while we at MusiCamp were slow and careful to react, we soon found ourselves involved in different musical activities and are happy to share some updates with you.

But most importantly we want to reach out and encourage you to process all the changes of the COVID-era in your own time and space, and, if you feel like it, to be creative. Music and the other arts have such powerful healing qualities and are essential to any and all social groupings. But in this time in particular, creative work can help slow down the busy and stressed brain, help refocus on the moment, and empower you in unspeakable ways. So please, stay healthy and safe… and wash your spirit often with music, dance, drawing, film making, painting, body percussion, cooking, baking, writing, or whatever else your heart implores.

   

UPDATES

 

ORI SHALVA PERFORMS in URGNT’s ONLINE FESTIVAL
Ori Shalva, our family ensemble, will be a part of this incredibly diverse and exciting online festival of musician from across Ontario! With Juno award winning names like the Gryphon Trio, Lila Biali and too many others to name. Visit our post to learn more.

 

ONLINE SINGING WORKSHOPS?!?
We believe we have made it work. Follow this link to see videos and understand how we teach harmonized singing online.

   

SUMMER CAMPS
May MusiCamp be offering an on-line option? We are looking into it, possibly in cooperation with another organization. We’ll update our home page as soon as we know more, so stay tuned.

 

PERFORMANCE & MUSICAL EVENTS
While we haven’t ventured into hosting live streams of musical performances – we’re leaving that to the experts who help ensure great audio and visual quality and excellent connectivity – we have joined Virtual Private Concerts online. So if you have a special event coming up – an anniversary, birthday, or simply a need to connect – you can hire a musician for a private virtual event. Check it out at Virtual Concerts Online.

Georgian Singing Workshop Online?!?


WEEKLY ONLINE WORKSHOPS via ZOOM
WEDNESDAYS 7 PM – 9 PM EST (GMT – 4 hrs)
$20-30 for employed; pwyc for underemployed.

message for links/more info or scroll to the bottom of this page.

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.


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

 

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 ;) !!

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

Winter Georgian Singing Workshop

Happy New Year!!

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.

Under the direction of Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich, MusiCamp will be hosting another Georgian singing workshop, starting sometime in mid-February 2020. The date is still to be determined but it will run in the evenings (7-9 PM), once a week, at the MusiCamp studio for 6 weeks. You can learn more of past workshops by visiting www.MusiCampTO.com/georgianworkshop or feel free to contact us. Look to the side if you’re on a PC or scroll down on your phone to view some videos of past workshops.

And remember to check back soon for updates on the dates!

WINTER GEORGIAN SINGING WORKSHOP
Starting Mid February, day still to be determined, 7-9 PM
for 6 weeks at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
Feel free to reach out to our contact page if you have any questions

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

 

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.

 

 

Reminiscing the Dundas West Fest…

It’s time to start thinking of summer and I’m remembering the great time we had at the Dundas West Fest last couple of years!
(If interested you can view the 2018 line up or 2017 line up. The 2019 lineup will be updated soon!)

LOOKING FOR PERFORMERS:  know of any talented youth in the Dundas West neighbourhood? Have them fill out our CALL TO PERFORM!

And mark the date for this year’s festival SATURDAY JUN 8 2019

We’re super excited with MusiCamp’s stage, the talented youth that will perform, the FREE West African Drumming Workshop 1:25-2:30 and the FREE Community Dance workshops series culminating in a workshop-performance demonstration at 12pm!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Didgori in Canada

The Georgians are coming!
It is a very rare opportunity that 6 members of Didgori will be touring Canada from late May to mid June 2019. The last and only time a choir from Georgia was touring Canada was in the 1970s. This time, Didgori will not just be performing but also hosting singing workshops, with stops in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and other parts or Eastern Canada. Scroll down to view their Canadian tour schedule to date.
 
The award winning Didgori ensemble has been performing internationally since 2004 and has toured Russia, Turkey, UK, France, Switzerland, Israel, Poland, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic and Latvia. Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001, the millennial old Georgian polyphonic singing tradition, with its close harmonies and untempered scales, is often described as transformatively visceral. It features 3-part singing in a variety of styles, from hauntingly melismatic lyrical genres to exploding counterpoint.

 

Have a listen to a sampler track compiled from Didgori’s most recent CD Singing as a Lifestyle


 

As can be heard from the variety of songs in the above sampler, Didgori are masters of a variety of Georgian musical styles, the wide variety of which reflects the diverse and complex landscape that has housed the Georgian people for thousands of years. Didgori is dedicated to the traditions of their ancestors through mastery and popularization of Georgian polyphonic folk songs and chants, and to the hope that their efforts will inspire future generations. The name, Didgori, honours a historical battle in 1121 that helped reunite Georgia and ushered in a period of growth in arts and culture.
Watch them perform (and even dance!) an Abkhaz round dance in the video above or listen to a performance of a chant in the audio player below.

 

Current Listing of Performances and Workshops