Book and Music – Three-day Life in Perfect Harmony

On May 22-24, an absolutely unprecedented for Georgia event took place in Tbilisi, at the Tbilisi Event Hall. Organised by the Bakur Sulakauri and Karchkhadze Publishing Houses, in one and the same premise, the festival of Book and Music was held at which many book and music lovers gathered to have fun, listen to different bands, buy books in different languages with discounts, taste dishes prepared according to the recipes mentioned in different fictions and relax with friends.

Nino Nadibaidze, Head of Public Relations of the Bakur Sulakauri Publishing House, told Georgia Today: “International Tbilisi Book Festivals are already a set-up tradition and have an annual character, whilst the Festival of Book and Music is being held for the first time. It also contains some culinary elements. The program is planned so that the live music performed by different music bands is alternated by literary workers, lectures, presentations, conversations about literature, etc. One hour is dedicated to literature, and another – to music, and so on and so forth. We selected those musicians that do not dramatically differ from one another in genre and are in melodic harmony with literary texts.”

Gia Karchkhadze, son of famous deceased writer Jemal Karchkhadze, is the co-author of the idea of organizing the festival. He is also the founder and the owner of Karchkhadze Publishing House and one of the former soloists of Soft Eject, a Georgian folk-rock band that was founded in 1989. Soft Eject debuted at a Georgian rock festival in Batumi in 1990, and then relocated to Germany. In 1995, Soft Eject shot their first video for the single “Please Just Carry On” which remains one of their most popular songs to this day. The following year, the band opened its own recording studio, S.E. Studio. In the 2000s, they took part in all important rock festivals in Georgia, organized nation-wide tours and performed several times in the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States. They exist today as well, but with a different staff. Gia Karchkhadze is one of those who says that he was playing guitar even before the famous band was formed and continues onwards, even out of it. “Literature and music are in perfect harmony with each other. They might be representing even one and the same language mentally, with different forms of expressions – one is narrative and another one – musical style,” he told Georgia Today.

“I am fond of reading books and listening to music. Therefore, it was an attractive event for me to come and attend. I purchased a lot of books, placed them in my car and now I’m sitting comfortably on this pouf, listening to music. I came here with my friends and we’re going to stick around for some literary presentations, as well,” said Nata Jghenti, one of the enthusiastic guests of the festival.

On May 23, Irakli Chelishvili, nicknamed Petsho, who in the past sang in Soft Eject, was the most popular soloist and emerged lately on one of the famous TV music shows, performed the band’s hits “Please Just carry On” and “I’m on my Way”, which were met with ovation. He also sang a number of Beatles hits in a duo with Lasha Topuria.

On the last day of the festival, a culinary show was held that represented the favorite dishes of different fiction personages, prepared by the chefs of Culinary Academy, functioning under the Free University.

All in all, the festival proved to be a success, representing a mix of different realms of art and cooking discoveries, plus the considerable discounts on books. Let us hope that the event will become a traditional one and, further, one of the many occasions that liven up the cultural life of Tbilisi city. If you missed it this year- save the date for 2016!

Maka Lomadze

28 May 2015 22:32