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Biography

Underlined with breathtaking visuals, technologically mediated live performance of Arhai transforms the traditional and medieval instruments from the Balkans and UK regions played by Adrian Lever, blending it with ethereal vocals of Jovana Backovic.

Arhai is a unique fusion of electronic music with folk influences from both the UK and Balkan regions. Underlined with breathtaking visuals, technologically mediated live performance of Arhai transforms the traditional and medieval instruments from the Balkan and UK region played by Adrian Lever, blending it with ethereal vocals of Jovana Backovic.

The word ‘Arhai’( pronounced with H) has a Greek root, it can be interpreted as ‘beginning’, ‘ancient’ or 'principle', so for us it blends in one word all that music is: rethinking the tradition through performance in the context of modernity. Arhai project exists from 1999 and is an ongoing project of composer and vocalist Jovana Backovic. First release ‘Mysterion’ was released on major Serbian label PGP, and was done in collaboration with eight musicians who performed both composed music and arrangements of the traditional songs from the region. These compositions covered the wide range of available instrumental and vocal combinations, but still retained the individual stamp of the author as well as reflecting the specific performance of each musician. As Arhai was initially created as purely acoustic ensemble, this release represents the need of the author to follow the natural combinations of instruments in acoustic environment, However, at the same time it was a crossroad – using electric instruments changed the sound and brought new elements into music. As a bend, Arhai performed for several years, until the group disbanded in 2008. From 2009 till present, it is an ongoing collaboration of Jovana with UK folk guitarist and Bulgarian tambura player Adrian Lever. Next to tambura, Adrian also plays medieval dulcimer, which, with its peculiar tuning and characteristic sound blends well with the overall sound of Arhai.

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