6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
WEDNESDAY 7-9 PM April 17 to May 22 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. 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

 

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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 both 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.

Have a look at some videos over the years, 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.

 

2019 MusiCamp Themes & Fees

2019 DATES!

15% EARLY BIRD registration discount before April 30!
$25 discount for additional weeks, siblings and referrals!
No additional fees or taxes charged!

July 15-19 ~ COMPOSITION & SONG ~ $285  more info

July 22-26 ~ WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING (guest artist!) ~ $325 … more info

  • Class sizes are small.
  • All-day (9am-4pm) programming with extended care available from 8:30am-6pm.
  • No formal training is required. No instrument required – just an enjoyment of music
  • Our intuitive approach to exploring sound, music, composition, the voice, and the weekly themes also functions as a great supplement to conventional music lessons
  • We also integrate crafts (instrument and mask making), backyard games, Pizza-making Wednesdays in Dufferin Grove park and other outdoor fun
  • Limited financial assistance is available on a per person basis. (Contact MusiCamp for more info)
  • 2019 Registration can be accessed here
visit our Flickr Gallery – click on the images below

MusiCamp at a glance

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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Didgori in Toronto

MusiCamp in partnership with Clay & Paper Theatre presents:
DIDGORI IN TORONTO


Friday June 7 2019 8 PM
THE CONCERT
at Jeanne Lamond Hall, Trinity St Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor St West
$30/$15 student/underemployed

Saturday June 8 2019 5-7pm
OPEN WORKSHOP
location to be determined
suggested donation $25

Sunday June 9 2019 11-4pm
WORKSHOP INTENSIVE
5 hour workshop, limited to 12 participants at MusiCamp Studio, Toronto $100

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

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

  • May 30 2019 to June 2 2019 Edmonton International Choral Festival performances and workshops
  • Jun 4 2019 7:30pm Winnipeg Singers present Didgori in concert at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
  • June 7 2019 8 pm Didgori in Toronto Concert at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
  • Jun 8 2019 5-7pm Didgori in Toronto Workshops location to be determined
  • Jun 9 2019 12-4pm Didgori in Toronto Workshops location to be determined
  • More dates to be listed soon for concerts in Kingston and Belleville, as well as cameos and workshops in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec!

    Composition & Song Camp

    ICE CREAM! is an original composition by MusiCampers Click to learn more about it!

    Have a song you want to sing? A story you want to tell? Through a series of musical games, exercises, songwriting workshops and the study of different elements of music, aspiring songwriters and singers put their ideas to music.

    In a fun and practical way, campers are introduced to aspects of songwriting, like hooks, riffs, harmony, and rhythmic accompaniment, chorus-verse format, basic chord progressions, intros and outros, rhyming and storytelling – useful skills/review for even the more experienced song-writers.

    Besides the tonne of musical games and other fun-in-the-park activities we do every week (including pizza-making in the park), campers will:

    • build and compose on there own instruments (diddley bos or bucket basses)
    • learn about composition and form, intros/outros, verses/choruses, hooks, accompaniment, etc.
    • explore and recognize a variety of chord progressions
    • write lyrics, compose and arrange their own songs

    By the end of the week campers will have written and/or collaborated on the creation of original songs and arrangements. Kids who already have basic instrumental skills are encouraged to bring their instrument. The week ends with a world premiere performances of our songwriter’s compositions!

    Check out our MusiCamp Flickr Gallery for more pics of MusiCamp

    REGISTRATION 2019


     

    REGISTRATION FOR 2019 SUMMER CAMPS IS OPEN!

     

    15% EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION before April 30

    $25 DISCOUNT
    for registering more than one child, for each additional week,* and for referrals.

     

    SECURED ONLINE 2019 REGISTRATION

    or

    DOWNLOAD 2019 REGISTRATION FORM

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    * additional-week discount override $25 sibling discount. In other words, sibling discounts only apply to the first week. For example, a family with 2 children may register both for the first week and $25 discount is applied to that week. If they both register for an additional week, then the $25 additional-week discount is applied to each child, for a total discount of $50.
    note: camp weeks with guest artists require a minimum number of registrants for specialized programming. Please contact for more details.

    MusiCamp Stage at the Dundas West Festival 2018!

    MUSIC FOR KIDS AND BY KIDS
    ALL IN THE HEART OF THE KIDS ZONE

    FREE AFRICAN DRUM WORKSHOP
    MEET MUSICAMP INSTRUCTORS
    LIVE MUSIC BY YOUNG LOCAL PERFORMERS

    We are so so so excited to be part of the vibrant Dundas West community that puts on such an amazing festival. MusiCamp is curating the stage in the Kids Zone again, providing more opportunities for our local and talented youth to showcase their art – plus we’re hosting a drum workshop. All starting at 11 am, at 1496 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin.
    The full line up of events can be found on our Facebook event page

    LIVE MUSIC BY LOCAL YOUNG PERFORMERS 11 am – 4:30 pm

    From 11 am to 4:30 pm the stage will be filled with live music. This year we welcome back sweet songsters Tangled Chords, Rebekah Wise, Sofia Kay and Gabo. Joining us for the first time is Emma Campbell. While Will Smythe is no stranger to the MusiCamp stage, he’ll be joining us in a whole new context – this year he’s not playing drums in a rock band but playing solo ‘cello! – his instrument of major at the Etobicoke School of the Arts.


     

    But rock’n’roller Charley Lukashevsky (formerly of 321 Sleep) will be back with a new band, the Patti King. We’ll also have 2 dance performances by the Eclective Collective and mom-daughter indigenous interdisciplinary urban duo The Graces, who will also lead a dance workshop! And of course students from MusiCamp will feature some body percussion,  blue grass tunes and original compositions – some of which will call on audience participation!

     

     

    WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING WORKSHOP 2:25 pm to 3:25 pm


    The public joining in on MusiCamp’s African Drum workshop at The Dundas West Festival 2016.

    This goes way beyond a drum circle! MusiCamp’s West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe and the interlocking patterns on the dunun – side-playing drums.

    More info can be found on this post.

    Check out MusiCamp’s stage at the 2017, 2016 and 2015 Dundas West festivals.

     

    MusiCamp and Other Activities


    MusiCamp will have a tent, so please visit us – try our the home made bucket basses and diddley bows, ask questions about our teaching and camps or just come and say “Hi!” Also don’t forget, there will be lots of other activities and crafts offered by other local organizations and business to take part in all around our stage.

    A REMINDER
    Don’t forget to bring sun screen, sun hats and water bottles! Also, the Kids Stage is located at 1496 Dundas St W, just West of Dufferin.  WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!

    FREE West African Drumming Workshop Jun 2 2018 at 2:10 PM

    West African Drumming Workshop open to kids and their parents!

    NEW TIME: June 2 2018 2:10 pmto 3:10 pm at the MusiCamp YOUTH STAGE at the Dundas West Festival, 1525 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin

    MusiCamp is hosting a free hands-on drumming workshop at the Dundas West Festival this Saturday, June 2 2018. Taught by AnnA Melnikoff, one of Canada’s foremost experts in the Mande drumming tradition, a tradition which predates the division of West Africa into the current political regions and arguably represents the roots of African American music, including the Blues, Rock & Roll, R&B, Mowtown, Funk, Soul, and many forms of pop music.

    This goes way beyond a drum circle!West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe (as seen briefly in the video to your left). But Anna 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.