G IS FOR GEORGIA and A IS FOR ABKHAZIA
I have no idea where to get the other volumes but that’s ok I guess because this one is so good? Shavnabada is a folk ensemble that tours the world to showcase the best examples of Georgian folk traditions, including their famous polyphonic singing. In this particular record they also do a share of Abkhazian songs. I am a big fan of “Carmina Burana”, the songs of rowdy medieval monks, as performed by Clemencic Consort, and some of the songs on this album remind me of it a lot. My favorite is “Vakhtanguri”, which is, apparently, a prominent toasting song—and if you know anything about Georgia, feasts and toasting people with wine are the single most important part of their heritage. I am absolutely mesmerized by the guy who makes the rooster sounds in the back. I love a weird sound, and I love improbable styles of singing, throat, vibrato, anything. I watched a bunch of videos, including one of Shavnabada singing “Vakhtanguri” in London, to try and figure out how it works. I still have no idea. Some sort of throat magic.
Apparently, this is the Georgian variation of yodelling that’s called krimanchuli. I wish I could say that since discovering what it’s called I’ve been watching videos nonstop but there is also a Georgian pop song from the 60s called “Krimanchuli” and it’s hard to weed it out and find the yodeling.
Split the Atom by Noisia
Released in 2010 by Vision Recordings