The third album from Levon Eskenian’s remarkable ensemble is its most adventurous to date. As well as reclaiming the music of esoteric teacher G. I. Gurdjieff for folk instrumentation, Zartir situates Gurdjieff in a tradition of Armenian bards and troubadours including Ashugh Jivani, Baghdasar Tbir and the legendary Sayat-Nova. In parallel, an emphasis on pieces for sacred dance reaches its apex in The Great Prayer, an entrancing collaboration between the Gurdjieff Ensemble and the National Chamber Choir of Armenia, which draws upon ritual music of multiple faiths. Arranger Eskenian says, “I believe The Great Prayer is more than a mere ‘composition’. It is one of the most profound and transformative pieces I have encountered in Gurdjieff’s work.” Zartir was recorded in Yerevan in 2021 and mixed and completed in Munich in November 2022 by Levon Eskenian, Tigran Kuzikyan, and Manfred Eicher.