My Grandfather, Artem Erkomaishvil (DVD and CD Included)


Series: Fine Arts, Music and Literature
BISAC: MUS050000

In the book My Grandfather, Artem Erkomaishvili, the musical biography of the great Georgian singer-chanter Artem Erkomaishvili is described.

He was born to a traditional family of singers in 1887. He finished school for chanters and became a professional chanter thereafter (he knew more than 2,000 hymns). After the October Revolution, chanting was forbidden in Georgia. Artem formed a choir in Batumi that won in the first Olympiad of the Republic. Since that time, Artem Erkomaishvili’s choirs have always deserved the highest appraisals.
Though Artem experienced a difficult life that was quite painful and tragic, he channeled his talent in order to persevere. The book also comprises quite a few references about old singers-chanters.

This book informs readers about old traditions and customs like the Georgian New Year, Christmas, and Easter holidays. It also contains information on the rules for performing the traditional songs “Batonebo” (a healing song), “Alilo” (a Christmas song), “Elesa” (a work song), etc.

The book is also interesting in terms of its ethnographic point of view. Cultural activities such as tree cutting, wine-making, the distillation of spirits like Russian vodka, Japanese sake, and Georgian araki, the raising of the silkworms, or the carving of the chonguri (traditional Georgian musical instrument) are described and detailed within this monograph.

The musical epoch of Artem Erkomaishvili’s period, which was full of severe repressions under the Communist regime echoes throughout the pages. Church hymns, traditional songs, and anything connected to this question was strictly banned. Artem Erkomaishvili and his followers saved Georgian songs chants at their own risk. It is Artem’s outstanding contribution to the recognition of the Georgian polyphony as a masterpiece by UNESCO.

The book will act as a detailed reference for folklorists, and lovers of Georgian folk music will enjoy it very much.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. At Grandfather Artem’s Grave

Chapter 2. How I Remember Batumi

Chapter 3. The History of the Erkomaishvilis

Chapter 4. First Gramophone Records

Chapter 5. Artem Erkomaishvili at the Chant School

Chapter 6. Philimon Qoridze

Chapter 7. Artem Erkomaishvili’s Biography (His Own Handwriting)

Chapter 8. The First Group Festival in Kutaisi

Chapter 9. Artem Erkomaishvili’s Group in Leningrad

Chapter 10. Tbilisi Festival (1937)

Chapter 11. Artem Erkomaishvili’s Group on Festivals (1934-1941)

Chapter 12. How I Remember Gigo Erkomaishvili

Chapter 13. Recording of Chants in Ozurgeti (1949)

Chapter 14. How I Was Baptized

Chapter 15. VI Republican Festival

Chapter 16. Artem, the Head of Ozurgeti Choir

Chapter 17. Brothers Artem, Ladiko, and Anania Erkomaishvili

Chapter 18. Gigo Erkomaishvili’s Family

Chapter 19. Grigol Berdzenishvili

Chapter 20. Chanters Artem Erkomaishvili, Varlam Simonishvili and Dimitri Patarava

Chapter 21. Artem Erkomaishvili’s Family Tragedy

Chapter 22. Anzor Erkomaishvili in Tbilisi

Chapter 23. Giorgi Nakashidze

Chapter 24. Artem Erkomaishvili in Makvaneti

Chapter 25. Table Rules in Guria

Chapter 26. Ceremonial and Ritual Songs in Guria

Chapter 27. Nadi and Naduri (Work) Songs

Chapter 28. Artem Agriculturist

Chapter 29. Artem Erkomaishvili a Virtuosic Performer on the Chonguri

Chapter 30. Artem’s Relatives

Chapter 31. The Last Period of my Grandfather’s Life

Chapter 32. Artem Erkomaishvili’s Decease

Chapter 33. The Main Moments from Artem Erkomaishvili’s Creative Life

Chapter 34. At the Tomb of Artem Erkomaishvili


The book will do a great job for the folklorists, and the lovers of the Georgian folk music will enjoy it very much.

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