Urmuli (Georgia) Georgian polyphonies
The quintet Urmuli brings back from the mysterious region of Caucasus a varied repertoire of traditional Georgian music. Native from Tbilissi, Urmuli excels in Georgian polyphonies, which are typical of the local folklore and were recorded by Unesco in the ‘Masterpieces of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’. They also distinguish themselves by mastering an amazing array of lutes, duduks and other instruments with unusual and poignant sounds: their salamuri (flute), phanduri, chonguri, chuniri (lute) and chiboni (bagpipes) offer a fine and virtuoso musical accompaniment.
Urmuli was founded in 1994 by Nugzar Kavtaradze, a famous Georgian singer, instrumentalist and composer, who has worked with celebrated Omar Kelaptrishvili and Izolda Pipia, among others. The band is keeping traditional Georgian musical culture alive, producing instrumental as well as vocal music. They arrange the traditional folk melodies themselves, but remain true to the specific characteristics of Georgian songs and their accompaniment. Their vocal style is probably the oldest polyphonic tradition of the Christian world, with rich harmonies, some sharp dissonances, colorful modulations and unusual key alterations. They strive for a virtuosity that highlights the emotions conveyed by the male voices.
- Nugzar Kavtaradze: vocals, phanduri, duduk
- Shalva Abramashvili: vocals, chuniri
- David Ratiani: vocals, bass chonguri
- Tamaz Mamaladze: vocals, bass phanduri, gudastviri (Georgian bagpipes)
- Gela Tabashidze: vocals, salamuri