The primary goal of the Composer's Residency program is to provide a platform for those working sound to explore and experiment with traditional/local music and music technology, and to create new works from their new understanding of these new approaches, incorporating the intersectional, experimental, and compositional languages presented throughout the residency through workshops, lectures, and collaborations. Participants will be encouraged to draw inspiration from the rich musical traditions of Tusheti, Georgia, and the Caucasus at large and to explore new ways of integrating these traditions with contemporary compositional techniques.




Once residents have arrived in Omalo, Tushet at the Aqtushetii residency, they will take part in daily lectures and workshops, while also being given time to work independently in the studio, in the field, or in collaboration with other residents and visiting musicians. There will be listening sessions and short films shown throughout the duration of the 10 days. The residency will end with two days of final presentations/performances. 


Lectures topics will include: 





















The total cost of the workshop is 900 Euros which covers:
– transport Tbilisi-Omalo-Tbilisi
– accommodation (in capsule dormitories)
– catering: a light breakfast and two large meals per day


Instructor Bios 


Ben Michels Wheeler (1986) is an experimental musician, composer, and ethnomusicologist based in Tbilisi, Georgia. His work features the musical structures of folk traditions meshed with electronic music and lo-fi aesthetics. Influenced by a seemingly disparate array of musical characteristics from the Caucasus, tape music, Soviet-era electronics and modular synthesis, he has released multiple solo albums under his own name, performed and written for a diverse selection of bands, and worked as a music director and composer. Ben Michels Wheeler explores the intersections of culture, identity, musical structures, and sound through his research and artistic practice. He is heavily involved with the experimental music scene in the Caucasus, playing regularly in local clubs and festivals in Tbilisi, Yerevan, and Baku.

Ben is the co-founder of Mountains of Tongues, a project dedicated to preserving and promoting lesser known music from the Caucasus region. He has recorded songs in languages that have rarely been caught on tape, instruments that only exist in extremely small numbers, and performances from a variety of underrepresented ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities throughout the region. He has produced several albums that showcase the musical diversity of the Caucasus, as well as the film “Gitara” (2018) about the history of the electric guitar in Azerbaijan. 

He is the music editor of EastEast, a journal that covers culture and society in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus and one of the curators of the platform EastEast radio. Ben is also the founder of the Caucasus All Frequency festival, which has brought together experimental and traditional musicians from around the world for collaborations and knowledge exchange. He is the host of the Caucasus All Frequency Podcast, which contextualizes the music of the region through new contexts and points of focus. 

He composed music and was the music supervisor for the acclaimed film “And Then We Danced” (2019), a passionate coming-of-age tale set in the world of Georgian traditional dance. He teaches introduction to synthesis and advanced modular synthesis courses as an instructor at Creative Education Studio in Tbilisi. 





Giorgi Koberidze (1992) is an electronic and classical music composer from Georgia.

His musical career started in early years, experimenting with many different genres and directions, which lead him to his music technology and composition studies at Tbilisi State conservatoire, where currently works as a music programming professor.

His latest experiments are mostly connected to Georgian traditional music and had already some success in this direction by winning first prize in Tbilisi conservatoire composers awards. experimenting with Georgian music and instruments was also the reason to run “Awwwara” Records.

At the same time, Giorgi is also a film and theater composer. His latest score (“What do we see when we look at the sky?”) took 2nd place at the International Cinephile Society Awards.






Full Residency Schedule 


Sample Daily Schedule


9-10 - Breakfast 

10:30-12:30 - Lecture and/or presentation 

13:00 - Lunch

14:30-16:30- Lecture and/or workshop, collaborative performance 

14:30-18:30- Studio time

19:00-20:00 Dinner 

20:30 -21:30  Short film/listening session 

Caucasus All Frequency Music Residency 




The Composer's Residency program at Aqtushetii is a 10 day program aimed at providing musicians, composers, sound designers, and anyone involved with the sonic arts with the opportunity to explore the intersection of global/local "traditional" music and music technology. Organized and led by Ben Wheeler and Giorgi Koberidze, two musicians and educators with backgrounds in composition, ethnography, ethnomusicology, music technology, and sound design, the program will feature masterclasses, collaborations, and lectures about harnessing new and creative combinations of approaches to folk music, music technology, and global music theory as a means of creating new compositional languages.