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The Power of Silence - A Portrait for Giya Kancheli

The cultural festival "Die Kraft der Stille" (The Power of Silence), dedicated to the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli and his work, will take place in Basel from 17-23 November 2003. In an announcement, the organisers said the following about their intentions and Kancheli's homeland:

"Just as the origins of the Georgian language still remain mysterious to researchers, this country's music stands out as a unique phenomenon beside the world's other musical cultures. Georgian music is basically polyphonic. Much evidence points to the idea that it is an independent, isolated culture without external influences. The musical language has much variety and is very different from region to region. The voice-leading and harmony of Georgian song are unique in the world. The development of Georgian polyphony is in advance of European developments by at least three hundred years. According to recent research, the entire music of Georgia, along with its own notational system, is based upon independent theoretical foundations with its own note-range system. In the texts of old songs handed down, we assume similarities to ancient Sumerian languages which are of eminent interest to the science of linguistics. Together with other organisers in Basel (Basel Chamber Orchestra, Od-Theater, Basel Festival Orchestra, Offene Kirche Elisabethen, Scala Basel, etc.), a 'Georgian Week' has been planned, with concerts, exhibitions, films, readings, a symposium and a podium discussion."