70s Canadian progressive rock outfit Harmonium have had their music given an orchestral makeover for a brand new album, Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique, which has been released by Quebec-based record company GSI Musique
A new animated video for the song Vert has also been released, which you can watch below. Vert, a celebration of the spring equinox, originally featured on Harmonium’s second album, 1975’a Si on avait besoin d’une cinquième saison (If We Needed A Fifth Season), also known as Les Cinq Saisons (The Five Seasons).
“Working closely with multi-media firms Noisy Head Studio and Champagne Club Sandwich, animator Vince Hurtu and a talented team of producers, we were able to portray the themes of the original Vert in a style in perfect concordance with the orchestral interpretation of the new version from Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique,” says GSI Musique President Nicolas Lemieux. “We invite everyone to explore this video’s visual world and let the music and images wash over you!”
Harmonium, led by musical visionary Serge Fiori, were one of the most influential bands in Quebec music history. Over the course of just three years in its 70s run, Harmonium released three distinct albums: the self-titled Harmonium, its follow-up Si On Avait Besoin d’Une Cinquième Saison, and the band’s 1976b swan-song L’Heptade. In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine listed the album Si On Avait Besoin d’Une Cinquième Saison at number 36 of the Best 50 Progressive Rock Albums of all time and declared it “the pinnacle of the whole Folk-Prog movement.”
Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique presents the band’s repertoire revisited and orchestrated by talented music arranger Simon Leclerc, who also co-produced the album with Serge Fiori under the artistic direction of Lemieux. A large ensemble featuring 68 musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) performed on the album, conducted by Maestro Leclerc at Montreal’s Maison Symphonique.