Friday, November 24, 2006
On Nov. 18, 2006, I did a one-day workshop at Oberlin College, arranged by my old friend & fellow Georgian singing lover Avery Book. I taught 5 songs at the workshop and then we had a brief performance in the evening, joined by the Experimental Course ("ExCo") which Avery co-directs with Stefan Amidon. It was a fun time for all. Afterwards, we were invited by Amanda Blasko from the Russian Dept. (who helped sponsor the event) for some khachapuri - Georgian cheese bread, along with more great singing and fellowship. The most interesting thing I discovered from Amanda was that the late Dmitri Pokrovsky and his ensemble actually taught a Georgian folk song at a workshop she had attended. She even lent me the cassette and let me listen to the Pokrovsky Ensemble singing Okro Mchedelo, a song from Georgia's province of Meskheti. I was proud to know that Pokrovsky sang Georgian music - since all the Georgians make such a major deal about the fact that "no Russians have EVER sung our songs..." Bravo, Dmitri.