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.

    BrouLaLa at Night of Dread!

    Don’t miss out on Toronto’s best festival!! Night of Dread

    Where Torontonians are invited to call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears through parade and pageantry, music and masquerade, dance and a devilishly good party.

    Drawing on Georgian, Bluegrass, Appalachian, Lithuanian and other musics, BrouLaLa (Andrea KuzmichRyan Brouwer, Lieke van der Voort and Jackson Welchner) will be singing, sounding, improvising and memorializing in the Valley of Remembrance.

    Saturday October 27
    5 – 9+ PM (BrouLala performing around 7ish)
    Dufferin Grove Park

    BrouLaLa night of dread 2016

    BrouLala Nigtht of Dread 2016 with Hats on to keep us warm!!

     

    Poetics of Food and Song

    A rare chance to experience Georgian cuisine and song…

      Friday October 19 2018 7 PM $80 Limited seating (max 15)
      RSVP for exact location (near Dufferin Grove Park)
      Concert includes a gourmet 5 course homemade Georgian meal (Georgian menu below) and 2 glasses of wine. Songs (by GABO’s TRIO and the MAKHARASHVILI FAMILY) and toasts interspersed through the evening. For more info or to reserve your spot, email MusiCampTO at Gmail.com or visit our contact page. Also visit our FB event page for occasional postings on the cuisine of Georgia.

    Foodies and music lovers would be interested to know that on October 19th MusiCamp is hosting a fundraising concert that is also an exceptional dinner, featuring Georgian cuisine, “the best little-known cuisine in the world“. In the Post-Soviet states, Georgian food is loved for its elaborate blend of spices, walnuts, and fresh herbs and fruit that result in savoury stews, purees, sauces and salads. In Soviet times, it replaced the French haute-cuisine of the Tsarist era and grew in such popularity. But the only way to understand why this is, is to try it!

    Here’s your chance to not only try it but to experience it in one of the most authentic performance opportunities of Georgian song – not on the concert stage but around a dinner table, sharing food, song and toasts!

    It is known that Georgian food is best consumed with traditional Georgian song and wine! So what better way to experience the flavours than in this rare chance at this dinner-concert. And given that Georgia is also known as the cradle of wine (the oldest archeological finds of wine making are from Easter-Georgia), of course a few glasses of wine will accompany the dinner.

    The Evening’s Menu is still being developed but it would look something like this:
    • Charkhlis Mkhali or Pkhali (beet or spinach puréed with walnuts and fresh herbs)
    • Kharcho (walnut-garlic infused beef stew),
    • Adjapsandali  (eggplant stew) and
    • Khachapuri (Georgia’s most famous cheese pie).
    • Salad Nigvitz (cucumber, tomatoes and red onions salad with walnut dressing – with an option to have the dressing on the side).
    All will be served with fresh bread, mint-infused yogurt and walnut puree sauces. Desserts will also be served (yet to be decided, but don’t be surprised if there will be something featuring walnuts!).

     

    For more info or to reserve your spot, email
    MusiCampTO at Gmail.com or visit our contact page.

    If you want to know a little more about Georgian food, consider The Washington Posts’ article “Is Georgian Food the Next Big Thing” or have a look at National Geographic’s Street Food Episode on Georgia.