Harmonium

Harmonium. Montreal rock group consisting of Serge Fiori (composer, guitar, flute), Michel Normandeau (vocals, guitar), and Louis Valois (bass, keyboards). The group made its debut in 1973 at Le Patriote. Its first LP was released in 1974. In August of that year Pierre A.

Harmonium

Harmonium. Montreal rock group consisting of Serge Fiori (composer, guitar, flute), Michel Normandeau (vocals, guitar), and Louis Valois (bass, keyboards). The group made its debut in 1973 at Le Patriote. Its first LP was released in 1974. In August of that year Pierre A. Daigneault (brass) and Serge Locat (keyboards) joined the group and took part in the St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations on Mount Royal (1975, 1976). In 1976 Normandeau and Daigneault left, and Denis Farmer (drums, percussion), Monique Fauteux (vocals), Robert Stanley (guitar), and Libert Subirana (saxophone, flute, clarinet) were added. After several months of intensive work the new group recorded L'Heptade in close collaboration with Neil Chotem and musicians from the MSO. The lyrics were provided by Normandeau, and the voices of Pierre Bertrand, Estelle Sainte-Croix, and Richard Séguin were featured. L'Heptade consists of seven songs ('Comme un fou,' 'Chanson noire,' 'Le Premier Ciel,' 'L'Exil,' 'Le Corridor,' 'Lumières de vies,' and 'Comme un sage'), separated by orchestral sequences by Chotem; it is considered to be Harmonium's most significant production. In La Presse (11 Dec 1976) Pierre Beaulieu described the group's music as 'elaborate, refined without being pedantic, subtle, with studied lyrics full of beau'tiful flashes'.

After a concert in London in July 1977 the group toured Europe, appearing with the British group Supertramp. In the autumn of 1978 Harmonium performed in Los Angeles and at the University of Southern California at Berkeley. Harmonium gave many concerts, particularly in Montreal at the Outremont Cinema and at the Centre sportif of the University of Montreal, in Toronto at Convocation Hall and Massey Hall, and elsewhere in Ontario. Harmonium's popularity was confirmed by its LP sales : most received gold record awards. Harmonium made its last tour in 1980. Its members pursued solo careers or accompanied other performers. Fiori was Harmonium's leader in the areas of conception and writing. His compositions are characterized by a 'cosmic' sound and the texts express a spiritual quest.


Further Reading

  • Turcot, George A. 'Harmonium. Tout part du ventre,' Mainmise, Mar 1976

    Bergeron, Raymonde. 'Harmonium. Plus qu'un groupe: un lieu musical,' Perspectives, vol 19, 9 Apr 1977

    Freeston, David. 'For Harmonium it's music not politics,' Montreal Star, 7 May 1977

    Repentigny Alain de. 'L'Heptade renaît et Fiori prépare son retour,' Montreal La Presse, 1 Dec 1990