Artists: Vołosi, Georgia’s 33a
Kings Place, London, UK
June - Sept 2013
Transkaukazja is a multidisciplinary, international festival inspired by contemporary culture in the Caucasus and dedicated to promoting this unique cultural space.
The Transkaukazja Festival takes place every two years in open and central urban spaces, as well as in the most important modern art galleries, cinemas, theatres and key cultural centres. The festival features a variety of interdisciplinary presentations through visual arts, film, music, dance, and events combining different art genres. Since 2004, Transkaukazja has brought a wide audience in direct contact with contemporary art created in one of the most culturally rich landscapes in the world. It aims to promote harmony in one of the most multicultural regions of the globe and takes place in Caucasus countries, as well as in nine European countries.
In 2013, Arts Territory was one of the co-organisers of Transkaukazja and the event united independent art organizations from 12 countries (from Azerbaijan to Portugal). For a second time the festival was awarded a grant by the European Culture Programme as the only project directly referring to the non-European Union territory of the Eastern Partnership countries.
Transkaukazja 2013 worked with contemporary artists from Europe and the Caucasus, looking at impulses towards an understanding of a new Europe. They explored two main topics – migration and confederation. Presentations and presented art works often mixed different genres of art and included Caucasian, European and local inspirations.
The London instalments of the festival took place in June 2013 and included the Songlines Encounters Festival. Songlines Magazine’s eye and ear-opening festival was kicked off by the first and only UK performance of a string-rich collaboration between fiddle-led Polish folk group Volosi and Georgia's 33a, led by Niaz Diasamidze on Georgian lute.
The character of Volosi’s music is defined by their strings instruments, which lend a dynamic, recognizable sound. Vołosi is comprised of both classically trained musicians and self-taught mountaineers - the latter no less talented then the former. Brothers Krzysztof and Stanisław Lason (cello and violin, respectively) work day jobs at the Katowice Music Academy. Zbigniew Michałek plays violin, Jan Kaczmarzyk is on viola, and Robert Waszut plays the double bass.
Meanwhile 33a combines rock, chanson and reggae influences with traditional Georgian music. The founder, guitarist and lead singer of the band is the charismatic Niaz Diasamidze. The band has been performing since 1994, and have since become one of the best-known Georgian bands in the world. 33a's trademark sound comes from the panduri, a three-string instrument typical of Southern Georgian regions.
More info can be found here