Intangible Pearls (Multiflora/Electric Cowbell)
May. 8, 2013
The Republic of Georgia, tucked into the Caucasus Mountains along the Black Sea, is an ancient land whose musical heritage receded under Soviet rule and is threatened by the global culture of now. Formed after the USSR’s collapse, Zedashe is a 10-piece ensemble of musicians and singers who began by researching the Georgian Orthodox chanting suppressed by the former Communist regime, and blossomed from there into recovering the fullness of their country’s traditional music. Zedashe’s polyphonic choral singing—minimally accompanied by archaic string instruments, bagpipes, accordions and big drums—is hauntingly primeval, beautiful twilight music fit for candlelit vigils as well as torch-lit celebrations. This is not vanilla pudding “world music” but music from a particular place, rooted to its soil yet universal in its dark emotions.