Connect with other singers on Tuesday evenings.
Immerse yourself in Georgian music with this short course in polyphonic and embodied singing.
Learn about Christmas and New Year traditions in the Republic of Georgia.
Tuesdays 19.30-21.30 ( 19.30 arrival for a 19.40 start)
November 15th, 22nd, 29th
December 6th, 13th, 20th
January 3rd, 6th (Georgian Christmas supra).
This is an opportunity to go deep into the ancient folk music of Georgia. Over 7 sessions we will form a temporary choir, experiencing the sense of great connection that comes from sharing these epic harmonies. At the end of the course we will share the songs with friends and family at a supra (shared meal), which will fall on Orthodox Christmas.
You will learn many folk songs from the polyphonic tradition of Georgia, and how to make the most out of your natural voice while singing them. You will experience the joy of connecting with others through shared sound.
Each week we will learn a new song and a singing technique for increasing our bodily vibration. We will also revisit the previous week’s song, so attending every session will give you the greatest insight and sense of satisfaction.
Georgian Polyphonic Songs
Georgia is a small country bordering the Black Sea, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Its polyphonic music, as well as its unique alphabet, have been recognised by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
Though small, there is great variety within the different regions of the country, including soothing healing songs, rousing table songs, and reverent chants. These songs touch something deep inside our bodies, reaching down to the earth and back through generations of ancestors.
This course offers a way in to learning about these songs, as well as the stories and people behind them. Holly will bring cultural context to this centuries-old tradition.
The Course Leader
Holly Taylor-Zuntz is a voice leader, song collector and multi-disciplinary artist from Oxford who has been living in Georgia and studying Georgian songs for the last five years.
Having ‘grown up’ in community folk choirs, she went on to train in Musical Theatre and then European Theatre at drama school. Her physical theatre training opened up a world of embodied voice practice, leading her to Poland and ultimately Georgia. Along the way she has learned from composer Helen Chadwick, vibrational expert Frank Kane, and director Anna-Helena Mclean, as well as many prominent ethnomusicologists in Georgia (Nino Naneishvili, Malkhaz Erkvanidze, Nana Mzhavanadze).
Holly’s singing workshops are full of joy! In 2022 she lead three Georgian workshops in Oxford, a 6 week pop-up Georgian choir and several community singing groups. She also lead a series of community singing workshops in Tbilisi, including Georgian polyphony, Ukrainian songs, and mindful voice practice.
She is one of the founders of Voices of the Ancestors, a podcast and theatre show about Georgian polyphonic songs, the women who sing them, and how they came to be loved in the UK. For more info go to: www.voicesoftheancestors.co.uk
Singing Level Required
This choir is open to those who can hold a tune while singing with others. No previous experience of Georgian music is required, and you do not need to be able to read music. If you already know many Georgian songs, this course offers a new perspective on them.