The Boîte is bringing together a worldly lineup for ‘3 Songs for 3CR’

The Boîte is bringing together a worldly lineup for ‘3 Songs for 3CR’

Photo: Geoff Burton
Words by Annie-Mei Forster

3 Songs for 3CR is assembling a lineup of talented world artists at the Abbotsford Convent on Saturday August 3.

The Boîte, an iconic Victorian multicultural music organisation, is hosting the event and have put together an amazing lineup for this year’s instalment. The event is now in its seventh year and is a fundraiser for The Boite’s weekly world music program on the Melbourne community broadcaster.

The Boîte’s head of programming, Therese Virtue, is the brains behind 3 Songs for 3CR and has been involved in community radio for over 20 years. The event started in 2012 as a 3CR benefit with three performing artists. The following year saw the fundraiser renamed 3 Songs for 3CR with eight performing groups involved in the event. Personally picked by Virtue, the featured artists have all done gigs for The Boîte throughout the year. It’s a great way to give back to 3CR.

Each performer or group has the chance to share three songs with the audience (and this year the event happens to fall on the third day of the month). The performances are mostly acoustic and it’s a great way for performers of different genres and backgrounds to come together and share snippets of their repertoire. The event was inspired by the Symposium on International Polyphony, which is held every two years in Tbilisi, Georgia. In these concerts, artists often perform one or two pieces, but the idea of three songs and 3CR was more appealing.

The Boîte’s director, Roger King, promises attendees a great variety of music, all for a good cause. “3CR is pushing for social justice and gives a voice to the voiceless,” he says.

King is an engineer turned musician and will be performing at 3 Songs for 3CR himself as part of Gorani, a 10-person male vocal ensemble. Gorani specialise in traditional Georgian music. For anyone who has never heard Georgian music before, “Georgians love dissonance,” says King. “They hunt for dissonance in their music”. There’s a lot of improvisation and it’s very challenging.

Gorani members travel to Georgia once every two years and stay with traditional musicians to learn from them. King says the music is culturally rich. The songs start with a dissonant chord, move to another dissonant chord, then a third and the final chord, too, is dissonant. There is usually a high-range singer, a middle-range singer and then as many  basses as you can find in the village.

It may surprise some readers to learn that proponents of Georgian music are not particularly uncommon in these parts. Although Gorani was the first specialist Georgian music group in Melbourne, there are now quite a few. This is thanks to Dr Joseph Jordania and Dr Nino Tsitsishvili, who are both music ethnographers. Georgian music has spread in Melbourne due to their passion for the music and commitment to teaching it to others. The Gorani men’s vocal ensemble will be performing some new songs at 3 Songs for 3CR after learning new techniques on their last trip to Georgia.

Other notable acts this year include Avi Misra, who was born in Tokyo and is now based in Melbourne. He’s a trained opera singer and talented guitarist whose music draws on his diverse life experiences. Another notable act is Iaki Vallejo from Colombia. She moved to Australia five years ago and used to pay for singing lessons with money she saved from house cleaning in the Colombian city, Cali. She now spends her day making chocolate and her nights playing at clubs and festivals around Melbourne. She brings her Latin stylings to 3 Songs for 3CR this year.

3 Songs for 3CR is happening on Saturday August 3. Tickets are on sale now. Head to for tickets and more info on the event.