Back to All Events

Georgian Folk Singing Workshop with Carl Linich

  • Robinson Classroom A 1204 Preservation Park Way Oakland, CA 94612-1201 (map)

Class size is limited. Reserve your place here.

Igor Stravinsky was fascinated by it. Kate Bush and Billy Joel fell for it. The Coen brothers used it in The Big Lebowski. What's it all about? The greatest traditional polyphonic music on the planet! Come learn folk songs from the Republic of Georgia (yes, the one that Russia was bombing in 2008) with Carl Linich. Songs will be taught orally, using word sheets. All you need are open ears & hearts, and the willingness to give it a try. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and all levels of musicianship are welcome. 

Traditional Georgian a cappella singing continues to flourish to this day, in concert halls and living rooms and at feast tables. Trio Kavkasia writes: "The Georgian people, inhabiting a land the size of West Virginia wedged between Russia and Turkey, speak a group of languages related to no other outside the Caucasus Mountain region. Georgia is an island musically as well, exceptional in having an ancient, deep-rooted tradition of polyphony (music in several independent voices), while all the cultures that surround it, and all the cultures that have occupied or passed through it, are firmly monophonic. Georgian polyphony appears to be truly autonomous and original, and its rules of counterpoint and tuning derive from nowhere else. Three-part singing in Georgia was probably in full flower by the ninth century, substantially preceding the modern development of polyphony in Europe... Georgian singers consistently sing intervals and tune chords in ways that are at odds with historical Western vocal practice..." 

Carl Linich has been a scholar, teacher, and performer of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing for more than 25 years, and is a member of Trio Kavkasia. Carl lived in Georgia for about 10 years, speaks fluent Georgian, and has led numerous singing tours in Georgia since 2001, as well as many workshops in North America and elsewhere. In recognition of his work in promoting and preserving Georgian folk song, Carl has been honored as a Silver Medal Laureate of the Georgian government (1995) and is the recipient of Georgia's prestigious Order of Merit award (2009). He has worked on CDs and publications related to Georgian folk music for the Tbilisi State Conservatory, the State Folklore Center of Georgia, and the International Centre for Georgian Folk Song. He currently directs the Supruli Ensemble in New York City, and also sings in a family trio with his two young sons. Carl will be joined Kitka for their first full-ensemble trip to the Caucasus in October 2010, where they performed at the Chveneburebi Festival and the 5th International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony in Tbilisi.