Voisa – The Experimental Project of Giorgi Mikadze & the Basiani Ensemble
EDITOR’S APOLOGY: The print version of this story contained a typo whereby the name of the song dedicated to the Dmanisi remains was confused with that dedicated to the Patriarch (see below). This has been amended in the online version.
Voisa is the name of the unique musical project that Giorgi Mikadze, a young Georgian composer and pianist, recently fulfilled together with his all-star band and ensemble Basiani in ShapeShifter Lab, one of the prestigious concert halls of New York.
A multi-genre project, Voisa is a cultural collaboration, an organic mix of multi centurial Georgian folk music and contemporary musical trends. Within the framework of the project, Mikadze created six compositions, including “Shiola”, which he dedicated to the Patriarch of Georgia, and “Zezva and Mzia” which was dedicated to the remains of the most ancient man and woman, found in Dmanisi, Georgia.
The musical director of the project, Mikadze managed to make a harmonious synthesis between the centuries old Georgian folklore and contemporary musical achievements by means of marvelous professionalism and skill. As a result, a new, unprecedented musical project was created with the collaboration of Okayplayer artist, Professor of Berklee College of Music and hip-hopper, DJ Raydar Ellis.
ShapeShifter Lab – a multiple-times’ witness of experimental, extraordinary and innovative projects was chosen as the space to fulfill the project. Voisa was accomplished with the support of the Georgian Chanting Foundation, which works to actively popularize Georgian songs, chanting and folk culture, in Georgia as well as abroad.
“Voisa factually represents the transformation of traditional Georgian culture into the epoch of globalization,” Giorgi Mikadze notes. “I tried my best to show how incredible and fresh a phenomenon Georgian folk music is. This multi-genre project represents a cultural collaboration, combining Georgian folk music, jazz, funk, fusion, hip-hop, R&B, electric-acoustic music and micro-tonal directions. I tried to make an unprecedented musical product that successfully caters to a wide range of musical tastes.”
He thanked Giorgi Donadze, Zura Tskrialashvili, the Basiani ensemble and “each and every member of my all-star band, Nana Gvatua, the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, the leadership of the concert hall ShapeShifter Lab, Yamaha Artist Services, photo-artist and designer Eva Kapanadze and Project Manager Tamar Mikadze.”
He has plans to present Voisa live to a Georgian audience, in May, at the Tbilisi Concert Hall.
“Giorgi and I have been friends for years,” says Zurab Tskrialashvili, Director of the Basiani ensemble. “We were studying together at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire. It was his idea to unite Georgian folk and contemporary directions. He shared it with us, me and leader of the ensemble, Giorgi Donadze several years ago. We got interested at once. It’s a very interesting experiment. In fact, this is a unique combination of various genres and a whole new musical concept. I hope it will meet the great anticipation of the audience and become the musical visiting card for our country in future.”
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