A B O U T
I N S P I R A T I O N S
I N F L U E N C E S
Harmundi is a unique blend of Irish music and free improvisation, well seasoned with worldwide influences, and a rather curious psychedelic aftertaste.
When we formed the band, in March 2017, we had close to no experience at all with Irish Music. Also, we were three flutists. It was a three-fluted, supposedly Irish-trad, band. Regardless of limitations, we started out with weekly rehearsals – not for professional ambitions, but out of sheer love for this music and the urging need to escape our stressful lives in São Paulo, Brazil, and let ourselves go with the flow.
This flow taught us a few important things about ourselves – one of them was that we are not Irish musicians, but, rather, Brazilian musicians who love Irish traditional music. That’s very important because it means we would never sound like our Irish idols. Which was not a bad thing! We didn’t have the cultural and musical background that made them sound the way they do, but we had our own cultural and musical backgrounds, as well as our own artistic inclinations, which allowed us to sound the way we do.
So, while we were (and still are) learning more and more about Irish Trad technique, we were also allowing ourselves to try out any musical experiments we saw fit. From this artistic freedom (and from the lack of a more extensive repertoire of tunes) sprouted a curious tendency to play long improvisations, sometimes on Irish tunes, sometimes just creating melodies and harmonies out of thin air. This is where the psychedelic comes in: we found ourselves making Irish music in a manner not so different than the early psychedelic rock bands of the 60’s made their own sound, which is through free improvs in a sort of flow state that brings about feelings, emotions and experiences which cannot otherwise be expressed.
On top of that, we season our live performances with our own set of psychedelic lights. Combined with our on-stage improvisations, this makes each and every show a unique experience for the senses, which is never repeated – inviting the audience to live that present moment with us.
The name of the band comes from “Harmonices Mundi”, the title of an interesting publication by astronomer-musician Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630). In this work, Kepler goes through a mind-bending parallel between musical harmony (the ordered juxtaposition of various sound frequencies) and the combination of frequencies produced by the movement of celestial bodies – these he called the “musica universalis”, or the music of the universe, the harmony of the worlds, which is mighty and beautiful, but one that no living thing can hear. It’s just there, happening as you read this text, oblivious to what will be thought, said and written about it. If you want to go deeper in this particular train of thought, check out this lecture by American Jazz bassist Adam Neely.
Follow the breeze.
foto: Leonardo Ramos
Our musical compass, she's a classical flutist from the Tatuí conservatory in São Paulo, Brazil. She's also a scientist from the University of São Paulo.
Self-taught guitar player, well-versed in the arts of the Brazilian Choro and in the fine intricacies of Irish Music harmony – thanks to the famous Irish Sessions of São Paulo. She's the first Brazilian woman to play DADGAD.
After playing with more bands than we can possibly account for (from symphony orchestras to Choro to Progressive Rock), she was the one who came up with the idea for Harmundi, on the day of her birthday, in 2017.
A majorly experienced video editor and a guitarist from an early age, coming from a Rock'n'Roll and Fusion Jazz background.
Took up the Irish banjo and mandolin thanks to the São Paulo Irish Sessions and joined Harmundi in 2018, only a few years later. Keeps promising he'll sing with us as well.
Taught himself how to be a sound operator while operating our gigs from the very start. Both him and Leo were responsible for the recording, editing and mixing of our first three albums.
foto: Thadeu Farias
Graphic designer currently based in Barcelona, specialised in cool visuals and user experience. We're not quite sure about his musical influences.
He was a drummer until he picked up the Irish whistle and low whistle – thanks, of course, to the Irish Sessions in São Paulo. That's also where he met Paula and Leo, with whom he co-founded Harmundi.
He's the one responsible for our logo, our visual concept, the cover art for our second album and the band's early inclinations towards free improvisation.
foto: Marina Telles
Wildlife photographer and filmmaker, with a few NatGeo documentaries on his back and a postgrad degree in Science Communication from New Zealand.
Started off as a classical pianist, but also practices a good deal of Rock'n'Roll, Synthwave, Jazz and Native American Music. Took up the Irish flute as his main instrument thanks to the São Paulo Irish Sessions, and developed the questionable habit of singing and risking tunes in less-than-orthodox winds like the Ocarina.
Manages the band and develops most of our visuals and texts, from this website to our psychedelic light shows and videoclips. Has a Kiwi accent.
foto: Thadeu Farias
M E D I A
D I S C O G R A P H Y
UM ORVALHO BOREAL
Our first studio album should have been released in early 2019, when we took off professionally. However, a technical issue forced us to re-record most of the tracks, giving us the opportunity to mature our music and finish off a much better product than we expected.
It was produced, recorded, mixed and distributed 100% independently. Um Orvalho Boreal is a portrait of our Brazilian years, seeing it as we're soon moving to Galway, in Ireland. These were our first sets, our first works with Irish Music and our first Psychedelic experiments.
The track entitled "Morning Chicken" had an exclusive videoclip shot and edited by Leo, our wildlife filmmaker and flutist, and it was featured on 2020's Festival Celta Brasil, Brazil's most traditional Celtic Music and Culture festival.
The cover art was made by Thom, our whistler and graphic designer, to whom the last track is dedicated.
2019: A BREEZE ODYSSEY
One fateful night, returning home from an Irish session, we took out our instruments and started playing inside of a subway train just for the craic of it. Right there and then we were heard, and subsequently hired, by the manager of "O Corvo" a prominent underground bar located at the heart of downtown São Paulo, Brazil's capital for cultural diversity and nightlife. This is a compilation of Harmundi's best recordings from our first year playing live at venues like O Corvo, Deep Bar 611 (home to the São Paulo Irish Sessions), Milord Taverna and Johnny Hudson.
Many of these tracks were played as on-stage improvisations, never to be played or heard again – except, of course, on this album. These are what make each one of our shows a especially singular experience.
Some of these tracks were featured by the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, one of the top music podcasts on Apple Podcasts, thrice winner of the Best Podsafe Music Podcast in the Podcast Awards.
The cover art was made by Leo, our flutist and director of lighting.
C O N T A C T
L E O N A R D O R A M O S
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P A U L A C A M A C H O
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E M A I L