Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

Orovela in a timeless world

I wasn’t sure what to write in my first entry in a year. Then it hit me. I was in the bedroom of my new apartment playing LPs on the record player that I had extracted from my sister’s attic. I was going through the handful of records I had saved over the years for various inexplicable reasons and here was something that really popped out at me. It was a recording I had gotten in the Republic of Georgia some time in the 1990s. The group was called Vocal Ensemble Orovela, and they were performing the title song, Orovela. It was a hypnotically beautiful folk song which artfully showcases the harmonic style and vocal flexibility of Georgian traditional song. I was blown away by it, and I thought, this is what I’ll write… a simple entry explaining how I discovered this gem just sitting in my stored attic boxes waiting all these years to be appreciated.

I had to know a little bit more about this song if I was going to write about it. I deciphered the Cirillic script on the album cover (ignoring the Georgian script, alas.) and found that the leader of this folk group was named Temur Kevhishvili. He also sings the title song. There is little more that I could glean from the Russian, except that the group was formed in 1988 and that my Melodiya recording dates from 1990. So I googled Orovela and just to

Hamlet Gonashvili

prove that nothing is new under the sun, one of the first links was to someone who had done just what I planned to do. On May 17, 2009, Poesis, a fascinating woman in Singapore, wrote about Orovela in her blog, Poetic Oneirism [ I had to look that word up 😦 ] . In it she simply stated that she had heard this song the other day, and how she just had to write about it. She gives some information about the singer on her recording, and some links. You can find a link to her blog at the bottom of this post.

Poesis has a recording by the singer Hamlet Gonashvili. I found him on youtube and I gather from the information on various sites that he is the singer who established the recorded standard to which other singers aspire. The vocal ensemble on my LP replicates almost exactly the style of Hamlet Gonashvili, though I am sure that the tradition goes back much further than that.

Getting back to Poesis. I looked at her most recent entry, and I was astounded to see that in June she wrote about

Jean Sibelius

THE other music which I have been obsessed with lately, namely the Violin Concerto in D Minor by Jean Sibelius. Actually, I bought the CD for another piece, the Wood Nymph, which I had heard in April on WQXR radio and which also struck me just as Orovela had. This time Poesis and I were contemporary music lovers, but it didn’t really matter, whether contemporary or separated by two year: blogging is a magical world that does not recognize the boundaries of time that we normally perceive. Time there is dictated by a ticking clock of technological progression which is beyond my realm of knowledge. To me, the internet is timeless, or more precisely, there are only two times: Now and Obsolete. So, as long as our computers can access Poesis’ 2009 blog entry, her words are as fresh as the day she wrote them. It doesn’t matter if she blogged every day before and after that, or never blogged again. That answers a question of mine with a blissfully simple wisdom. How to get back to a blog after ignoring it for a year? Just do it, no explanation necessary.

Click here for the link to Poetic Oneirism

Here is Hamlet Gonashvili.

The Wood Nymph


July 4, 2011 - Posted by | concerts, music | , , , , , ,


  1. Welcome back, Dominic.

    Comment by jokerizedpaul | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. I had read this post of yours before (which already pleasantly surprised and moved me then, as I had just started my little blog as a personal space for collecting inspirations and doing some writing etc.), and today I visited again — reading it always brings a smile to my face. Thank you for your online presence and the words, thoughts and art you share. Hope to see you over mine sometime!

    Ting-Jen (Poesis) x

    Comment by Ting-Jen Hwang | October 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you! This blog is not very active, as I am involved with other projects, but I am glad to see you again. Your blog is probably the most beautiful website I see on the internet. It is inspiring.

      Comment by dominicambrose | June 22, 2013 | Reply

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