Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Russia/Ukraine: Iveroni

The Republic of Georgia was in the headlines in 2008, and it wasn't in regards to their music. I first heard Iveroni’s music at the very same time that Russia was aggressively invading the small, independent, pro-Western democracy to subordinate it and remove its freely elected President. After it arrived in my mailbox from their U.S. distributor, Beauty Saloon Music based in Belmont, MA., I immediately put on their album and said a prayer for the refugees who were being forced to flee from their homes in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions. 

Regardless of the tense situation in their homeland, Iveroni is a group of five young talented musicians (Roman Lashkhia, Gieorgi Chikovani, Davit Batiashvili, Davit Gogitishivili, Beka Tcertcvadze). Their instruments are the panduri, bass panduri, salamuri, and changuri. Their traditional songs emphasize vocals, and they relate stories of love, heroism, and brotherhood. Producer Nathaniel Berndt traveled to the old city of Tblisi to record Iveroni on location. Additional liner notes would've been nice to explain more about this group, their music and songs. 

That war with Russia left Georgia's countryside scorched by bombs and tank fire, and I wonder if Iveroni has songs that portray hope and optimism in such dire circumstances. Music often soothes the soul, provides assurance, and it can also inspire people to action. Peace and freedom were eventually restored to the Caucasus Mountains and Russian forces withdrew. We can only hope that the present conflict in the Ukraine is quickly brought to similar resolution.

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