Sakortsilo (Wedding Song, Abkhazeti)
Sulis Qvavilo (City Song)
Chqim Chonguri (Samegrelo)
Mgzavruli (Riding Song from Achara)
Nestled below the Caucasus Mountain range, Georgia possesses the oldest pre-Christian polyphonic musical tradition in the world, one of unusual and striking harmonies that transport us to a different time. It is emotional music – not sentimental or sad, but able to arouse the raw emotion that lies dormant in all of us.
Sathanao means “something very precious, something very valuable to your heart”. For the women of Sathanao that precious thing is the Georgian Polyphonic Song Tradition.
Sathanao are a group of old friends who met when they were students at different faculties at the Music Conservatoire in Georgia. They were inspired by the work of Malkhaz Erkvanidze, who with his Anchiskhati choir was working to restore the old Georgian Church chants – a heritage that was, at that time, almost extinct after years under the Soviet regime.
For several years Sathanao chanted every week, old traditional services in the renowned church of Jvaris Mama in Tbilisi. Sathanao researched ancient chants, preserved in transcriptions made in the early 19th century, on the edge of extinction, and helped reintroduce them for use in current day liturgical practice. Marriages, children and the vicissitudes of life conspired to make continued practice difficult but the choir reformed again in 2005.
They are unique in Georgia in that their repertoire covers the old church chants, village songs (mainly women’s repertoire, but including well chosen songs from the men’s repertoire.) and also urban songs. It is Sathanao‘s aim to perform from the heart in their own way. As professional musicians it is important to them not to take the songs out of context so they do not mimic old village singers. They hold the integrity of the song styles by singing them in a natural way, yet with a mesmerising stage presence.
The choir toured Europe several times, took part in International festivals, have been broadcast on BBC, and recorded two CDs. Currently the choir is recording a teaching CD of Georgian cradle and healing songs. For videos of Sathanao's past European tours, plese visit their youtube page - www.youtube.com/user/SATHANAO?feature=watch