To book the Anchiskhati Quartet, and for information on concert, masterclass, and lecture-demonstration fees:
Contact: John A. Graham: j.graham [at] yale.edu
Nestled below the Caucasus Mountain range, Georgia possesses the oldest pre-Christian polyphonic musical tradition in the world, one of unusual and striking harmonies that transport us to a different time. It is emotional music – not sentimental or sad, but able to arouse the raw power that lies dormant in all of us.
The Anchiskhati quartet will be in the US in February - March, 2016, sharing their love of the musical tradition they were born into. Performing both church and folk music, with local instrumentals, they present a rare opportunity to experience an ancient tradition.
Read more on the Anchiskhati website.
The Anchiskhati Choir, renowned for their vocal precision and exquisitely executed performances, present a program of Easter and Lenten music in the idiom of Orthodox polyphonic music from Caucasus Georgia. Sung in three-voiced close harmony, the precision of timbre, tuning, and other nuances of authentic practice in an Anchiskhati performance yield an exquisite blend of ethereal Orthodox prayer text with the hearty passion of the Caucasian folk-singing style.
On the present tour, they will be performing a selection from their latest project, "The Orthodox Paschal Cycle." The singers expertly negotiate the complex polyphonic forms of these familiar Paschal texts, their voices precisely tuned to the unique other-worldly harmonies and intonation styles of the Georgian harmonic idiom. In addition to chants from Holy Week and Pascha, the performance will conclude with several para-liturgical songs from the folk repertory, accompanied by traditional instruments such as the goatskin bagpipe (chiboni) and a four-string lute (chonguri).
The Anchiskhati Church Choir, of Tbilisi Georgia, are the undisputed leaders of the widespread contemporary revival of the suppressed traditional form of Georgian chant, as well as some of the leading scholars of the history and theory of this globally significant medieval repertory.
The revival of polyphonic chant of the Orthodox Church in the country of Georgia is synonymous with the work of the Anchiskhati Church Choir. An oral tradition for centuries, it was only saved from complete extinction by its transcription into European notation at the turn of the last century. Starting in 1988, members of the Anchiskhati Church Choir were able to gain access to these forbidden transcriptions in State Archives, and begin to chant the liturgy of their ancestors in the context of Orthodox services. This achievement paved the way for further advances such as the publication of more than fifteen compact disk recordings of chant as well as a dozen books of chant notation.