The Living Tradition of Music in Georgia

One thing that has always struck me about Georgian culture is that it is a culture of song.  It is often said that one out of every two Georgians are musical, either singing or playing an instrument (such as the traditional banjo-esque “panduri”).  Musical talent is highly respected, as it is integral for unlocking a … Continue reading The Living Tradition of Music in Georgia


Language Learning Through Music

My trip to St. Petersburg has always been about music. I’ve played the violin for almost 30 years, and the most formative musical moments of my life were in some way or another connected to the Russian musical tradition. I vividly remember cowering under the covers as a kid watching the Night on Bald Mountain … Continue reading Language Learning Through Music

Metal in Russia

On my first night with my host, Igor, he took me to a Russian heavy metal concert in a repurposed warehouse. The first song: “My Homeland—USSR”  («Моя Родина-СССР»). As soon as the band—«Иргия Праведников»--punched the first note, their fans went wild. They formed a mosh pit in the middle of the dance floor--a whirlwind of … Continue reading Metal in Russia

A Few (Lesser-Known) Petersburg Sights

It’s hard to believe that I will be on a plane back to the US in less than two weeks. Since September, Saint Petersburg has become my home. During the winter months my commute became so second nature that I often arrived at Gertzen without remembering my commute. And in a way, that makes me … Continue reading A Few (Lesser-Known) Petersburg Sights