Advertisement

Anchiskhati Ensemble bring ancient polyphonic harmonies to Iowa City


Anchiskhati Ensemble

St. Raphael Orthodox Church — Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

A Georgian quartet, the Anchiskhati Ensemble, will perform at St. Raphael Orthodox Church in Iowa City on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
A Georgian quartet, the Anchiskhati Ensemble, will perform at St. Raphael Orthodox Church in Iowa City on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

People in the nation of Georgia have been singing the same songs for a very long time.

On Thursday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m., four members of the renowned Anchiskhati Ensemble of Tblisi will perform some of this remarkable music at St. Raphael’s Orthodox Church (722 E. College St). Their performance is co-sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Department of Religious Studies, the School of Music and the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of the Midwest. Following the performance, there will be feasting on traditional Georgian foods.

The small, rocky, mountainous nation of Georgia borders Turkey, Armenia and Russia, between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountain ranges and the Black Sea. Despite centuries of occupation and invasion, as well as subsumption into the Russian Empire and eventually the Soviet regime, their strong folk culture and oral traditions have persisted. The sacred and secular music has been remarkably well preserved by groups like the Anchiskhati.

It is such an old musical tradition that some Georgian Orthodox hymns sung today are carried over from pre-Christian times.

Georgia boasts a number of regional language dialects and distinct singing styles, and, since the fall of the Soviet Union, a growing number of native musicians and international enthusiasts have been busy documenting, notating and exporting this remarkable and ancient music.

Georgians were early adopters of polyphonic harmony singing, and the music is structured on an indigenous harmony system of perfect fifths and a penchant for dissonance and rhythmic complexity. Regional styles vary dramatically (years spent under the rules of the Mongolian and Iranian empires can be heard) but lovers of more Westernized Orthodox and Gregorian chanting will find much crossover in Georgian singing.

Singers are accompanied by native instruments (the chonguri, a four-stringed gourd lute, and the chiboni, a goatskin bagpipe) and the style is typically sung in small, all-male ensembles or larger choirs.

The Anchiskhati Ensemble will also lead a lecture-demonstration, “Introduction to Georgian Traditional Music” at 4:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Center Recital Hall at Old Capitol Mall. Both events are free and open to the public.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

IT’S LITTLE VILLAGE’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY.

Join us at the Little Village HQ open house July 20

RSVP
Become a sustaining member or make a one-time contribution:

Support

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.