“If contemporary folk music is what you are after, then ArHai serve it up deliciously.” -Matthew Forss/Inside World Music
ArHai is a duo based in London UK consisting of composers Jovana Backovic (vocals, electronics) and Adrian Lever (medieval dulcimer, Bulgarian tambura). Their music explores the intersection of cinematic, traditional and electronic.
The word ArHai stems from ἀρχή and can be interpreted as ‘origin’, ‘ancient’ or ‘principle’. It reflects the duo’s approach to music-making: both Jovana and Adrian are focused on rethinking the archetypal modes of music performance in the context of modernity.
ArHai began in 1999 and is an ongoing project of composer and vocalist Jovana Backovic. The debut LP Mysterion (2006) was released on major Serbian label PGP, a collaboration with eight musicians performing both composed music and arrangements of traditional songs from the Balkan region. The line-up performed at major regional festivals until 2008.
The current collaboration began in 2009 and features Jovana with UK folk guitarist and Bulgarian tambura player Adrian Lever.