Saving a Treasure: the Digital Transcription of Georgian Orthodox Chant
Introducing the Aghsavali Organization, a group of young Georgians committed to the preservation and popularization of Georgian sacred music. Their current project, which seeks financing, aims to transcribe several thousand archival samples of Georgian chant with the goal of publishing, recording, and performing these lost chants. See project proposal below, and biographical/background information attached at left. Download here.
III. Project Proposal
1. Project Proposal
The main objective of the proposed project is to protect and revive the musical heritage of Georgian. This is a large goal. This proposal will deal specifically with a large number of manuscripts containing Georgian chants. The applicants intend to digitize these manuscripts into digital notation, providing it in a viable format for practical study by professionals. The practical revival of this music will follow these necessary first steps through subsequent print media projects.
This aspect of the project will deal with the creation of a proper organization for the approximately 2000 unorganized chant manuscripts housed in The State Folklore Center of Georgia. Aghsavali has devised a numbering system to deal with this large quantity of manuscripts.
3. Public Website
It is the goal of this project proposal to make this music accessible to a wider scholastic community and to benefit the larger community through the popularization of Georgian traditional music. Following on the successful lead of the State Folklore Center in creating a database website for Georgian folk music, Kartuli Khma will create a website where the digitalized versions of the proposed 2000 chants will become available. We foresee this as an ambitious project, yet we are ready for the challenge, and have the staff and expertise to actualize this goal. The chants will be organized by theme group, and will be catalogued by name. Audio recordings made by the Anchiskhati Church Choir and the Sakhioba Choir associated with Aghsavali will be uploaded to the website to aid practitioners and scholars.
The digitalization of chant manuscripts and the creation of a website to represent this work will facilitate the publication of some of these materials. In collaboration with existing publishing entities, Kartuli Khma will periodically issue brochures and other informative bulletins to the music community. At the conclusion of the project, a catelogue of all digitalized hymns will be published on the website and in print. Likewise, a book of selected chants will be published with full introduction and compact disc recordings. A concert performance of pieces from the publication will mark the book release.
5. Expectations and MonitoringIt is expected that after the first weeks of set-up, the applicant group, Kartuli Khma, will be able to fully organize and digitize an average of fifty manuscripts per month. The ongoing project will last two years. Simultaneous to the digitalization project, other members will organize the chants, build the website, issue the progress bulletins, prepare the manuscript and audio publications, and rehearse the performance ensembles for the recordings and the final concert. In this way, the project is multi-faceted in order to best serve the musical community in Georgia and abroad, both in the immediate timeframe of the project's implementation, and also for generations of future scholars and musicians. At the end of each month, the chairman of the project will submit a report of the work accomplished during the previous month. At the end of each three -month quarter, the organization committee will convene to access goals and progress, and to define new parameters for the future quarter.
6. Project Participants
There are a number of projects associated with this project, which will require different specialists, with varying commitments throughout the project. Kartuli Khma has assembled a team of 11 persons to implement the project:
- Project Director/Researcher -Malkhaz Erkvanidze
- Transcription Specialists -Elgudja Narimanashvili, Davit Shukakidze
- Notation Editor -Levan Veshapidze
- Computer Programmer/Website Design -Zaal Tsereteli
- Photographer -Iveri Meskhi
- Chant Specialist -Ekvtime Kochlamazashvili
- Interpreter/Translater -Ketevan Eliozashvili
- Consultant -Magda Sukhiashvili, Prof. Musicology, Tbilisi Conservatory
- Book/Bulletin Designer -Gocha Balavadze