The ensemble Akn works to revive and develop the traditional interpretation of Armenian liturgical chant.
The performances of the ensemble reflect the work developed since 1990, which culminated in the creation of the Centre for Armenian Liturgical Chant Studies, founded in 1998 in Paris by Aram Kerovpyan.
Akn is an ensemble of 8-12 participants depending on the programme. Its repertoire is made up of sharagan songs (hymns/tropes), odes, songs of the Offices, and Psalms, sung by group or solo. Akn interprets this monophonic and modal repertoire in its original form, accompanied by a drone.
The interpretation of the ensemble Akn has been developed along the same lines as the traditional practise of ordained cantors in the Church of Armenia, a practise which has diminished with the gradual disappearance of the Offices in parish churches and the propagation of Western musical techniques in the Armenian communities.
In classical Armenian, the word Akn means eye. It has also been used to signify hope, source or spring, the center of the cross, and precious gem.