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Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir & Sayat Nvaq Ensemble

  • Ashkenaz 1317 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA, 94702 United States (map)

Tickets are $15 / $10 Students. Ashkenaz is always all ages!
Doors open at 7:00, show begins at 7:30

Tickets here.

Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir is an Oakland-based volunteer mixed vocal arts project dedicated to the performance of traditional polyphonic music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, and Lazona. Designated by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, Georgian polyphony stands among some of the oldest and most beautiful song repertoires in the world. Sung in three distinct and overlapping parts, Georgian music necessitates singing with others. The individual parts do not stand alone. In a time of divisive political upheaval, the need for wonder, fierce love, and transcendent beauty is vital in creating a world that deeply sees one another and responds to that seeing with celebration, joy, and empathy. Temple of Light’s core mission is to be a light in dark places, igniting the best in our humanity through Georgian song.

Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir is led by Kristine Barrett and members are: Julia Beauchamp, Hannah Blair, Briget Boyle, Emily Butler, Julia Dashe, Zain Dossani, Sarah Estes-Smith, Megan Frasheski, Michael French, Irma Gogiashvili, David Graff, Jenn Harper, Sandy Hollister, Krista Keim, Rachel MacFarlane, Jason Patten, Tom Purtill, Medjula Rose, Jennifer Saito, Jenya Schneider, Mark Shipley, Agnes Szelag, Ana Tevzadze, Laura Turiano, and Elise Youssoufian

Kristine Barrett is a trans-media artist, composer, and vocalist specializing in traditional music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Eastern Europe, Ireland, and the Americas. A storyteller at heart, Barrett’s work explores the narratives of human consciousness as developed and articulated through song, dance, art, language, map-making, scientific exploration, and literature. After completing a double BFA in Art History and Photography/New Media from the Kansas City Art Institute, Kristine went on to study composition with Tony Conrad at SUNY Buffalo and the legendary Fred Frith at Mills College, where she received a MFA in Electronic Music Composition and Recording Media in 2006. Barrett’s work has been performed and exhibited in galleries and media festivals throughout North America and Europe. In addition to her solo work, she currently performs with the acclaimed KITKA Women’s Eastern European Vocal Ensemble, Cantadora Sephardia with David Robert Johnson, and is the Artistic Director of the Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir An avid hiker, bibliophile, lover of ancient literature and art; Kristine loves being in the non-human world and wooden boats. She currently resides on a houseboat with a myriad of plants, shrines, animals, and her husband in Sausalito, California.

Sayat Nvaq Ensemble is a San Francisco Bay Area group that delves into the rich traditions of Eastern Armenian music. The group draws its inspiration equally from the two main pillars of Armenian secular music: the classical, troubadour poet traditions of the Ashougs and Gousans such as Sayat Nova, Ashot, Djivani, & Sheram; as well as the popular, regional village music found throughout the countryside. The ensemble invites audiences, both old and new, to share their deep appreciation of this unique and evocative musical tradition.
Ensemble members are Shea A.J. Comfort – duduk, shvi and ploul; Leslie Bonnett – voice and violin; Briget Boyle - harmonium and voice; Haig Kassabian – dhol; and Khatchadour Khatchadourian – voice, and duduk.