In July of 2019, an extended team of the Potsdam GVM project group, together with colleagues from the Tbilisi State Conservatory and the Georgian Chanting Foundation, visited southwestern Georgia (Achara and Gurien) for an Ethnomusicological Field Expedition. The Tbilisi team intended to collect recordings for a teaching CD while the main goal of the Potsdam group was to test new and cable free recording equipment which would also allow to record singing dancers, to gather material for future ethnomusicological research, and finally to help document current local music practice in audio and video.
The map on the left shows the trip (red curves) and the locations (yellow) of the recording sessions during the 2019 field expedition. The encircled yellow numbers correspond to the recording days (1-10). From a tiny part of the rich video footage obtained during this trip, ten daily episodes were created as a collection of personal impressions from the fieldwork, the beauty of the country and of deeply moving encounters with wonderful people.
We share it with heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to this unforgettable experience.
On the first day of recording we drove from Ozurgeti to Keda, where we met Jemal and Beso Turmanidze and singers from the area. We had our first, very short recording session, which also served as a warm-up session to get reacquainted with the new equipment. A reporter from a local TV station interviewed us about the background of our project and the intentions of our field expedition. After that we drove to Khulo, where we stayed for the night. (13:16)
The recording session took place in the village of Makhalakidzeebi in Oladauri community (Shuakhevi municipality). The field team was hosted by Avtandil Darchidze's family. (15:07)
The recording session took place at the Cultural Centre of Ghorjomi village in Khulo municipality. (10:08)
The recording session took place at the Cultural Centre of Khulo Municipality. (8:03)
The recording session took place at the Cultural Centre of vill. Skhalta in Skhalta community (Khulo municipality). (11:23)
The recording session took place in the vill. Purt’io (Shuakhevi municipality). (13:54)
The field team was hosted by the family of Givi Bolkvadze. The recording session took place in the village of Khabelashvilebi in Ch'vana community (Shuakhevi municipality). That day we were also allowed to record part of the service in a small village mosque. (23:24)
The film shows a beautiful mosque in the village of Ch’vana, which the expedition team visited on their way from Khabelashvilbi back to Merisi. The field team was hosted by the Turmanidze family in Merisi village (Keda municipality). The recording session was held at the home of the Turmanidze family. (14:14)
On this day, the expedition team returned to the municipality of Keda for the last recording session in Achara. (5:34)
The last recording session of the expedition took place in Ozurgeti, Guria. The main purpose of the recording (in addition to the use of other recording techniques) was to test special heartbeat sensors with a small group of local singers. The recording session took place at the Folklore Center of Ozurgeti municipality. (18:28)