First off, we want to thank everyone again for supporting this project- the response this last month has been really incredible. We have a lot of great news to announce.
The Sayat Nova Project has started working with Onnik Krikorian, a journalist and photographer who’s been working in the Caucasus since 1994 and has written and photographed for the BBC, National Geographic, Al Jeezera English, and the Wall Street Journal. We couldn’t be more excited to be working with him, especially due to the fact that his work in Armenian/Azerbaijani co-inhabited villages in Georgia was a huge inspiration for the Sayat Nova Project. He’s interested in writing a story about us and has been photographing some of our recording sessions. His latest photos of our work are available HERE.
We’re also going to be collaborating with and screening the films of the independent filmmaker Vincent Moon. He’s well known for creating the online music series La Blogotheque and for filming indie and mainstream musicians like R.E.M and The Arcade Fire, but he’s also done extensive field work with musicians all around the world, including the North Caucasus. We’ll be working with him in July when he visits Georgia during the start of his project “Eurasia“. We’ll also be screening his films on Chechnya and Dagestan at different venues in Tbilisi.
We’ve created a Soundcloud account where you can stream samples of some of the different musicians we’ve been recording over the past few months:
As well as a Youtube channel where we’ve been compiling various clips of music and culture from the different people of the Caucasus:
We’ve got a trip to Zemo-Alvani planned for this weekend where we’re hoping to record Tush and Batsbi musicians.
One more thing – One of the focuses of the Sayat Nova Project is the phenomena of musical hybridisms, when two musical cultures are blended together to create something unique. This Sunday we attended a forum on Ashughs that was held by the Armenian community here in Tbilisi. There we had the great pleasure of meeting Marat Arjevanidze. Marat has been playing guitar since he was a boy and has always loved rock and pop music. When we talk about musical hybridisms within the sphere of this project, we are usually referring to folk music but in the case of Marat’s playing we decided to make an exception. He has an incredibly unique, charming, and unexpected way of interpreting western pop songs. We thought we’d include this video for your enjoyment:
The Sayat Nova Project