This workshop offers a way in to learning songs from the Caucasus, as well as the stories and people behind them. Holly will bring cultural context to this centuries-old tradition.
We will not simply be learning the music and words, but working to find our ‘Georgian sound’ with a range of vocal and embodiment techniques.
The workshop will run from 09.45 to 16.00 each day.
The voice is the only instrument which we hear first inside our body, and then outside. It is with us our whole lives, utterly unique to us.
With a range of movement and embodiment exercises, we can increase the vibration of our voice throughout our entire body. And when we consciously connect our vibrations with others, it creates a more resonant sound for the whole group.
Georgian songs are a great tool to access this connection. And embodiment practices are a great way to engage with Georgian songs!
Georgian Polyphonic Songs
Polyphony literally means ‘many voices’ and is a way of describing the three-part harmonies which are integral to Georgian traditional 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.
Who is it for?
This workshop is open to adults of all genders. It helps if you’ve had some experience of singing in a group before.
You do not need to read sheet music or sing solo, and you do need to be able to match pitch (sing the same notes) as other people in your part and keep a steady rhythm.
The space is fully accessible. The workshop will be physically active, involving some movement practices which can be adapted to those with physical impairments.
The Workshop 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 six years. In 2022 she trained as a Natural Voice Leader with Frankie Armstrong.
Holly leads Kalta Choir, a Georgian choir for women, and other community singing events in Oxford. See more at http://www.hollytaylor-zuntz.com
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: http://www.voicesoftheancestors.co.uk