Montréal’s Harira Ensemble is devoted to the study and presentation of traditional folk and liturgical music from the Republic of Georgia, and the world. The group is a place of collaboration and exchange, its members united by our passion for the beauty and diversity of traditional music.
Georgia’s unique and ancient vocal polyphony is known worldwide for its combination of haunting beauty and dazzling harmonies, and is recognized by UNESCO as one of humanity’s masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage.
The beauty and inventiveness of folk and liturgical songs lie not only in their intricate layering of voices and melody. Transmitted – historically by oral traditional methods from person to person and from generation to generation – they have evolved to the present day in their accumulated power, precision and beauty. Today, we are rediscovering their potential as masterfully crafted catalysts for human contact; as if intended to engage the individual’s sense of self in relationship to family and community, to nature and the divine.
The members of Harira benefit from a wealth of experiences learning from teachers, mentors and friends, and from modern and historical recordings. In performance we offer a grand tour of Georgia and the surrounding Caucasus. The harmonies, stories and culture that underlie each musical journey reveal a profound expression of the human experience, at once densely layered, deeply moving and utterly thrilling.
For more information about our upcoming presentations, workshops and other activities, or to share your feedback, please contact us – we would love to hear from you: