Braveheart Georgia is a Georgian Registered Charity. Its work in Georgia is supported by a sister charity in the UK “Ecologia Youth Trust,” based at Findhorn in Scotland. Ecologia has long experience of work in Eastern Europe.
Our charitable work in Georgia aims to support and proliferate Georgian polyphony, both within Georgia and abroad. Part of our focus is to work with social disadvantage through the vehicle of the music itself.
Nana Mzhavanadze: Georgian Singer & Musicologist:
Nana was born into a family of traditional songmasters from the Gurian region of Western Georgia. She learned her craft at her grandparents knee. A singer of exquisite refinement, with a near perfect command of English, she teaches her country’s traditional polyphony internationally. She went on to study at the Tbilisi Conservatoire, where her interests lay both in her traditional music and in the revival of Ecclesiastical chants, suppressed under Communism.
Now project Director of Braveheart Georgia she lives her life as an ambassador for her country’s musical heritage and culture. Nana sings with the Tbilisi womens choir “Sathanao”, and in the UK with trio “Akvani.”
When we as Georgians open our mouths to sing, our eyes are already searching for other voices to join. Within our music- making, the separation, loneliness and isolation of our complex modern day existence has no place. Only our love belongs here. Through this cherished vein, we Georgians carry all that we hold dear. The bloodline of our ancestors. The heartbeat of our nation. The secrets of our immortality. It will be my honour to share our songs with you.
Nana Singing: “Ae Fond Kiss” (Scottish Folk Song)
Madge Bray: Scottish Singer & Social Entrepreneur
Madge Bray was born into a traditional Scottish singing family and spent her early career pioneering therapeutic work with abused children and working internationally in child abuse. It was during this exploration that she began to study the roots of fragmentation and disharmony, and began to see the importance of sound in the restoration of harmony and balance in human beings.
She recognises in Georgian polyphony an ancient harmonisation tool of world significance and works with the Scottish charity Ecologia Youth Trust to facilitate the work of bringing this music to a broader audience.
Together with Nana she co-founded Braveheart Georgia and now operates as a voluntary mentor and facilitator. Now based in Edinburgh, Madge is the author of various books and articles and in 2001 she received a nomination for the “European Woman of Achievement Award” for her humanitarian work in Eastern Europe.
Inspired by the pioneering work of Historic New Lanark’s Robert Owen (1771-1858) in his “Quest for Universal Harmony”, Madge Bray has recently begun a collaboration in the USA with Educational Reformer Carolyn Sollman, author of “Through the Cracks”, Herb Thomas, M.D., author of “Shame Response to Rejection” and Hunter Hurst III, Founder of The National Centre for Juvenile Justice. Under the guidance of Jane Blaffer Owen (recently deceased) of New Harmony, Indiana, all are working on a ground-breaking forthcoming Global Educational Summit:
Developing a Vaccine for Violence through the Healing Power of the Arts
Madge sings in the UK with Trio “Akvani” and with the Edinburgh Georgian singing group, “Torola”.
Other Braveheart Georgia projects:
The Datuna Appeal:
To bring a small disabled social orphan boy from the Temi Community in Georgia for a life-saving operation in Edinburgh, Scotland.
[For more information on this appeal, please click here ]
To see film clip of Datuna watch the short YouTube video below – Madge happened to be singing with him at the time it was filmed. [Please first remember to stop the YouTube video of Nana singing, above – just click on Nana’s video to pause it].
Datuna In Georgia
Thornlie Primary School, Wishaw, Scotland.
We are helping to develop a Scottish-Georgian children’s choir, linking the two small corners of Europe together [Scotland and Georgia] and twinning with Temi alternative orphanage community in Kakheti, Georgia.
Listen to our recording of the Thornlie Primary School Choir singing Georgian polyphony here:
See the YouTube video below of our visit in 2010 to Georgia with just five of the choir members from Thornlie Primary School.
Learning Georgian Polyphony In Georgia:
We also bring groups of western singers to learn Georgian polyphony within Georgia itself. In summer 2010 participants came from Germany, Scotland and England.
Teaching In The UK
Nana teaching at Oakbarn Workshops, Ludlow, England, in 2010.
Temi Alternative Orphanage Community:
Using sound and vibration with severely disabled young people
Sathanao Women’s Choir.
Production of new CD – we are helping to finance the production of a new CD collection of songs by the Sathanao Women’s Choir.