Established in 2000, Ensemble Basiani is the Georgian national choir. Georgian ancient choir music is one of the oldest traditions of such music, and its legacy is actively rekindled by the choir, which is today comprised of 16 singers from different parts of Georgia and with backgrounds in traditional folk ensembles. Through touring the world, Ensemble Basiani have raised the profile of Georgian polyphonic and folk music.
Basiani is the name of one of the regions in Southwest Georgia (in what is now modern-day Turkey, northwest of the town of Erzurum).
Georgian polyphonic singing predates the introduction of Christianity in the country in the 4th century AD, using now esoteric tuning systems that gives the country’s folk music its unique characteristics. Vocal polyphony is based on repeated phrases and rhythmic drones, as well as unusual key changes and dissonant harmonies.
Since the day of its inception, Ensemble Basiani has been actively reviving and popularising examples of Georgian traditional polyphony. They have recorded and performed a large number of traditional folk songs, released CDs, held concerts in Georgia and elsewhere, and sung at many internationally acclaimed festivals and prestigious venues.