After the film Gia Kanczeli. Życie bez Bożego Narodzenia, there will be a meeting with the Georgian composer. This will be an opportunity to gain insight into the meaning of the cycle whose title sounds quite mysterious or even offensive to some. The origins of the individual compositions tell the story of the inspirations behind Kancheli's entire oeuvre, its roots and character. After 14 years, the composer returns to Poland with the cycle Life Without Christmas, albeit performed in a different way than in the film. Has anyone ever played the four pieces in such a way? What is the connection with the rule of the day between the individual prayers? Why did Kancheli choose different instruments for each time of day and why the particular ones? And finally: How was Christmas treated in the Soviet Union?
One of Georgia’s most renowned and unique contemporary composers was born in Tbilisi in 1935. After graduating from the Conservatory of Music he worked as a non-associated artist, which at the time, was a rather unprecedented situation in the Soviet Union. As a result, Kancheli managed to preserve his own distinctive style. His deeply spiritual compositions are full of restless sound images filled with various colours and textures, sharp contrasts and shocking climaxes. His music draws inspiration from Georgian folklore, the past classical eras, and even modern popular music. The artist seeks spirituality and simplicity everywhere, and in his compositions, he allows music to become a separate, living organism.
Kancheli is particularly famous for his large-scale compositions. So far, he has written seven symphonies, an opera and many pieces for chamber orchestra. Each of his works is based on some general principles that are often non-musical, for instance the length of a breath, silence, tension, calmness or excitement. This is why Kancheli's works are so organic in nature, combining archaic melodies alongside modern ones.
For two decades, Giya Kancheli was the music director at the Rustaweli Theatre in Tbilisi. He left Georgia in 1991. He first lived and worked in Berlin and then in Antwerp. Today, he travels between Belgium and his native Georgia. His works are commissioned all over the world and have been performed by renowned artists, for instance Jansug Kakhidze, Dennis Russell Davies, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, Yuriy Bashmiet, Mstislav Rostropovich and the Kronos Quartet. His albums are released on the ECM label.