The Album was recorded “in secret” (in Oslo and Riga) as a surprise 75th birthday present for the great Georgian composer. Therefor ECM decided to invite Dino Saluzzi to revisit Kancheli’s music for stage and screen, in his personal and highly creative way. Simultaneously Gidon Kremer, an old friend and champion of Kancheli’s music, also expressed an interest in doing something special for Giya’s birthday. With both Kremer and Saluzzi on board, the project took on new dimensions. Finding links between the worlds – Kancheli’s, Kremer’s, and Saluzzi’s - is a task adroitly handled by Andrei Pushkarev. The vibraphonist, who works often with Kremerata Baltica, prepared arrangements realized with Kremer in Riga, and also worked in Oslo with Saluzzi, intuitively supporting Dino’s very relaxed approach to the material.
Like other composers of the former Soviet Bloc, Giya Kancheli ‘subsidized’ his art music by writing – prolifically – for theatre and cinema. If this was considered part of the craft of becoming a composer, Kancheli went deeper into the subject than many of his contemporaries. He formed strong associations with playwrights and directors and his ‘incidental’ music was widely heard - in the East. Nine of the featured themes derive from Kancheli’s collaborations with internationally acclaimed theatre director Robert Sturua. There are also themes from films by Georgi Danelia, Eldar Shengelaia, Sergei Bodrov, Lana Gogoberidze and others.