Postcards: No.2 – Tbilisi’s Flea Market

April 8, 2009

Flea Market 1

At the flea market near the Dry Bridge in Tbilisi I meet Aleksander, a former opera singer and nuclear physicist who now spends his time selling random bits and bobs, including a few records. I’m glad to find one with Hamlet Gonashvili, whose hypnotic version of the Georgian folk song “Orovela” (below) I find absolutely fascinating. Who knew that a capella could sound so similar to binaural beats?

I also meet Robert, another music lover who sells records at the market. He invites me to his family’s nearby flat for coffee, cake and a chance to go through some more of the records he has for sale. The walls are covered with posters and there are records everywhere, including on the balcony. Robert puts on “Klaus Schulze Live in Poland” and turns up the volume.

Flea Market 2

It sounds great on the old Soviet sound system, but unfortunately this particular record is not for sale. We listen to lots of other stuff, some great and some horrible, and I end up buying a weird mix of Hungarian funk, Czech beat, Bulgarian prog, Polish disco, Baltic cosmic, Armenian jazz, East German italo and whatnot. Indeed a parallel musical universe!

Hamlet Gonashvili: Orovela

[The Correspondant]

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