Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday Night is Music Night #3

'Tis that time again when FNIMN Friday Night is Music Night cranks back into action...

The session is an opportunity to avoid staying in on a Friday night watching BBC4 and a chance to learn some more songs and hone some old favourites all in relaxed atmosphere with very convivial company.

The approach will be very informal with a couple of blokes acting as Meisters of Ceremony, coaxing people through a warm up then teach a new song, sing some others, teach another song and then sing a bit more. 

Sheets with the worms and (possibly) tadpoles (words and music) will be provided.

Open to all who would like the excuse to go down the pub and sing a bit, so bring along WAGs & FoBaFoBs (Friends of Blokes and Family of Blokes).

We will aim to start around 20:30 and see how it goes.  So be there, and be at the start of something possibly, er, Magnificent.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Master Class with Malkhaz Erkvanidze

From one master to another, here you can see  Malkhaz Erkvanidze on the right in action at Ashton Keynes School Hall passing on some of his experience and wisdom to our great master, our belov├ęd ChoirMeister Chris Samuel.

A good number of the blokes turned up dutifully garbed in Magnificent T-Shirts along with a number of non-Magnificent, but one the less magnificent blokes, and were taught two pieces.

The first was a truly special example of Georgian choral singing, a singular Mraval jamier that was quite a challenge for all assembled with its shape shifting polyphony and intricate parts.  We managed to get through it in one piece but it was quite a challenge though hopefully has laid the groundwork for us to return to it and conquer it with guidance from Mr Samuel.

The second piece, Aliloi, came together very quickly and despite only getting a couple of run throughs sounded reasonably pleasing by the end of the session.  You can judge for yourself by listening to it at

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Master Class with Malkhaz Erkvanidze this Thursday

Just a reminder that we are very proud to be organizing a "Master Class with Malkhaz Erkvanidze", one of the top people in the world of Georgian singing who has been at the forefront of the revival of Georgian folk and medieval sacred music for the past 25 years, pictured right.

The event will be held on Thursday 6th March in the Ashton Keynes School Hall, opening around 19:15 and starting around 19:45.  Tickets for this special one off Master Class cost of £10 per bloke, £5 per Mini-Bloke (kid) available on the night.

Non-blokes are welcome to attend but because of the nature of our all bloke group we have asked that he focus on pieces more suitable for our range, so please bear that in mind.

This should be viewed as an unmissable opportunity to learn from one of the greats of this genre so to book your place, email and we will sort out the details.

He is one of the world's foremost authorities on traditional Georgian folk and sacred music. Born in the central mountainous region of Imereti, Malkhaz grew up singing folk music in his family and with a local master-singer named Benia Mikadze. 

His unique background growing up in a family singing tradition allowed Malkhaz the opportunity to develop an ear for indigenous Caucasus tuning systems. A graduate of the Tbilisi State Conservatory, he has spent much of his professional life rescuing traditional Georgian orthodox chants suppressed under Soviet communism. 

His seven books of Georgian hymns and folk songs have been published with CDs,and he has written many articles about the distinctive musical structure of Georgian polyphony. In 1988 Malkhaz founded the Anchiskhati Choir, dedicated to preserving the authentic Georgian tuning system and traditional singing styles. Malkhaz currently teaches at the Tbilisi State Conservatory and consults for and directs numerous choirs, including Sakhioba Ensemble, with whom he has produced five albums