Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Table Songs of Georgia
Genres: World Music, Pop
Listen to Samples
PURE AND ENCHANTING BUT RATHER MONOTONE
Carolyn H. Samelson | Colorado | 06/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For an a cappella album recorded without instruments, this album represents how several human voices can merge in synergy to create a spine-tingling atmosphere of sound. The first few tracks definitely rank up there with the worlds finest music but after you have listened to this record for a while the tracks begin to seem become more undistinguished and blend in with each other because they all sound so much alike with the same basic character. Like many recordings of Georgian music, the astounding harmonies and melodies come to create an intoxicating (in a figurative sense) effect. After a while of listening to this music your head seems to get lost in a swirling effect. It's really quite unique. When I played this album for some friends, the first thing they compared it to was Gregorian chant. However, while listening to such ethnic music with a specific orientation, it is important to remember the culture behind it for that is what gives the music its extra depth. At a Georgian table ritual of feast conducted by a Tamada, individual courses of food are consumed between toasts and songs (like the ones on this album). For example the first song on this album is "sung at the very beginning of a feast being a hymn to eternal life that wishes a long life to all those present at the feast." Just the very glancing at the descriptions of the Georgian foods served such as Eggplant and beans with walnut sauce, bread with melted cheese and chicken with tomatoes, onions and fresh herbs never fail to intrigue my appetite and culinary imagination. This reminds me of the Georgian myth of when God was sending the different peoples to their destined lands, but God was enlightened at how the Georgians were still there celebrating and feasting. Consequently God gave to the Georgians the land God was saving for her/himself. Also included is some information about the ancient traditions of Georgian polyphony and how they compare and contrast between the different regions of Georgia. The wine producing region in Eastern Georgia known as Kakhetia is home to the Tsinandali Choir as these songs are common in Kakhetian gatherings. If you are curious about all the details, I suggest you get the album and read the cover booklet- I don't want to spoil the surprises or rehash too many words that have already been stated. I would have given this album a four star rating because I was expecting some music more striking at first, perhaps something akin to Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares which Georgian choir is often compared to. And I didn't expect it to be so monotone, but the idea that this music grows and becomes more striking with each listen and the wonderful culture behind it all makes up for it. All in all, it's a really great thing that there is at least one recording of Georgian music on mass distribution through Peter Gabrial's Real World label."