Trio Mandili: With Love

March 13, 2016

mandili1Walking on Air

Listening Post 38. One fine day in September 2014, three girls took a walk on a country road in Georgia, the Caucasus Mountains nation perched between Russia and Turkey. As they walked, they sang a Georgian folk song, and one of the girls filmed a selfie video. They put their selfie on YouTube and in two weeks got a million views, ultimately leading to a record contract. With Love is the result. That first video is an irresistible mix of natural talent and homemade authenticity, of one nation’s polyphonic tradition and the universal spontaneous antics of teenagers. The song recounts a tradition in which a boy chooses a girl from his village for a platonic relationship that allows them to spend the night together in conversation—they can touch but must remain clothed—and in the morning the girl offers him food and a horn of vodka. In the song, Apareka—the boy’s name—shamefully admits, with the help of the vodka, “Such dirty thoughts came to me, let God be angry” (video 1). The 10-track album is a mix of traditional and contemporary folk music, consisting of the trio’s stunning voices accompanied by a panduri (a three-stringed lute). Other songs that feature their signature harmonies include Qrizantemebi (Chrysanthemums, video 2); Qalo (The Women); and Marto Shemovrchi (The Waiting). Trio Mandili is doing more flying now, to concerts across Europe, but they’ll likely continue to savor the day they took the world for a walk. (El Italia)






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