The Velvet Session Project: Kote Kalandadze’s Acoustic Placidity

On February 19, the Blue Velvet Art-Café was transformed into a cozy venue for the presentation of the Velvet Session project. The first visitor was artist Konstantine (Kote) Kalandadze.

Kalandadze has become a well-established artist on the Georgian alternative music scene since his beginnings in the early 1990s. His diverse musical projects range from hardcore rock, such as ‘Sick People in Dreams’ (S.P.I.D), and Russian language alternative rock, Nebo SSSR (Sky USSR), to the intimate semi-acoustic solo-project Parashutki (Parachutes). His most recent and active project is an experimental electro-rock band with the catchy name Lady Heroine.

Besides making music, Kalandadze also directs films about Georgian underground musicians. He is currently working on the feature film ‘The Drummer’. The wide spectrum of his creativity tells us a lot about his being a multi-faceted and very talented artist who is constantly making discoveries. Kalandadze has his own distinct signature and diverse style. His musical works could be described as a vivid kaleidoscope of color.

His recent projects are like story-telling, the short excursion into his soviet childhood of the album Lady Heroine consisting of songs with English texts: April, Beautiful Amaze, Space Oddity, Eternal, There is a Light that Never Goes Out, and more.

Velvet Session itself strives to create intimate live experiences for music lovers in Georgia and ensures inspiring performances and direct communication with the artists. Live sessions will be held once a month in unique spaces and high quality videos will be produced for each event.

Elene Gvetadze, founder of the Velvet Session project, talked to GEORGIA TODAY before the performance: “First, we had just live performances. Then, we decided to adjust our environment to the artist and offer a cozy atmosphere equally comfortable for the audience and the performers. Silence is something that Tbilisi nightlife really lacks. The lives will not repeat themselves as each and every performance will be specially arranged for that night in particular. Genres will not be confined. The only pre-condition is that it should be original music. Our credo is to create a common atmosphere for a musical ‘dialogue’. So far, we have been choosing artists ourselves and, in future, we plan to invite famous musicians from overseas, too.”

“It’s a great comfort for an artist to be invited to a space that offers you everything you need,” Kote Kalandadze, first to try out the Velvet Session, told GEORGIA TODAY. “The program suits this [Blue Velvet] café. I usually have a band, but this time I did a solo performance. I mostly play lives at art-cafes, which are not really in abundance in Tbilisi. Acoustic music is less popular in Georgia and, unfortunately, there are very few places where an artist can find a high-level technical environment. But this isn’t a demotivation for me, as what matters most is the process of recording. I do believe that contact between musicians and the audience should not be distant- which is what makes this project so great”.

The environment was as cozy and silent as promised, the audience tucked away from the daily rush and worries beyond the doors. The evening was very chamber-like, first and foremost because of the longed for acoustic sound, giving a simple hue to the whole performance, pacifying, as if ignorant of the high-speed reality of life.

Maka Lomadze

23 February 2017 21:59