Northern Harmony

19sep4:00 pm5:00 pmNorthern Harmony


(Sunday) 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Event Details

Northern Harmony, a collaboration of ten brilliant singers presenting harmony singing from across the world, presents an outdoor concert on the Highland Center for the Arts outdoor stage.

Led by Larry Gordon, Northern Harmony is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organization Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world. Touring Europe regularly since 1995, the group has won wide acclaim for their unique repertoire and sure command of widely diverse traditional singing styles.

The program presents a thrilling mix of world harmony traditions, including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Corsica, contemporary American shape-note songs, including new songs by members of the group, and renaissance Italian devotional songs.

South Africa has a particularly powerful and appealing folk harmony singing tradition, with a rich, resonant vocal sound, and wonderfully syncopated rhythm. The singing is always accompanied by dancing, with the rhythm of the dance movements often in counterpoint to the song.

Georgia’s ancient three-part harmony singing tradition features a dark, sonorous vocal quality, and startling harmonies, unlike anything in European music. Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two highly ornamented upper voices over a more sustained harmonic bass. The Balkan numbers feature the characteristic bright, “hard-voiced” vocal timbre, with dissonant harmonies frequently based on drones, and irregular dance meters in 7, 9 and 11. These pieces will also feature the Northern Harmony band of fiddle, pennywistle, accordion and percussion. The band will also play a medley of traditional dance tunes.

The shape-note songs include two new works by Ethan Sudan, a member of the group, as well as two other contemporary numbers by Toby Tenenbaum and Megan Henderson.

Admission is by donation, suggested $15 – $20.


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