"A half-airy, half-aggressive interdisciplinary happening organized by the young and enterprising composer Christopher Bono, who brought together a wise, postcategory, electric and acoustic 12-person crew." -- New York Times
"You couldn't pigeonhole it into one genre if you tried -- it goes from eerie David Lynchian soundscapes to Eastern melodies to avant-garde jazz drum freakouts to a million other places, all while remaining strangely accessible." -- Brooklyn Vegan
"(Sometimes) it is clear from the get-go that you're handling something potent, that the music you're about to hear is going to leap out of the digital format and grab you by heart... A captivating and moving piece of music." -- Heavy Blog Is Heavy
New York experimental music project NOUS, led by producer and composer Christopher Bono, announces NOUS III, the third installment from the lineup and concepts which comprised the band's opening trilogy of releases. The first single, "Ninths" is available to hear and share via Brooklyn Vegan HERE. (Direct Bandcamp and YouTube.)
The ethos of NOUS is to consistently explore the spectrum of improvisational possibilities in music. While the ensemble has explored free jazz, noise, traditional song structures and rhythmic motifs as improvisational fodder, the first single from NOUS III, "Ninths" is a contemplative and atmospheric melodic work that was presented to the musicians as a simple lead sheet that consisted of a series of "Ninth" chords (music theory nomenclature) moving in a parallel fashion. This repetitive progression provides the foundation on which NOUS weaves and layers a dynamic improvisational performance.
A final, very special collaboration between ambient legend Laraaji with this NOUS ensemble will be announced soon for release in 2020.
The previous album NOUS II was released in December 2019 to great acclaim (including Prog Magazine, Downbeat and more) and is available to hear via Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music.
NOUS is an experimental music project with a fluctuating group of artists exploring ritual and spontaneity within music. The first trilogy of releases were culled from a 5-day musical retreat wherein 13 musicians were invited to join Christopher at the legendary Dreamland Studios, a converted church, with producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus) on an intensive 7-day immersion -- recording for 5 days, with 2 live performances at the conclusion. Each member was given a 47 page handbook that included a series of 60 musical "seed" ideas along with a list of conceptual cues. These ideas acted as a starting place for each improvisation. Bono then designed a daily schedule that began with a morning warmup routine of yoga followed by silent meditation, vocal toning, body percussion, and then a mixed percussion and toning session before moving to their respective instruments. These morning sessions were designed to move gradually from silence to sound within the body (vocal toning), rhythm on the body and finally to a blend of external instruments coinciding with internal sound (instruments and vocal toning.) Once the recording schedule began each day, Bono mixed the seed and conceptual ideas along with timed periods of free improvisation.This conceptual social experiment led to 3 albums and a transcendent sound formed from a unique fusing of collective consciousness.
The first NOUS trilogy along with the upcoming Laraaji & NOUS album will be followed by a new, entirely different incarnation of NOUS featuring Christopher Bono and Karl Berger, a jazz icon known for his stints with Ornette Coleman, Ed Blackwell and Don Cherry, and also for founding the now historic Creative Music Studio. Berger and Bono dubbed their collaboration NOUS: One Mind. They brought in 16 different musicians for various recording projects including Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin, Wood), Christopher Pravdica (Swans), Ira Coleman (Sting), master flutist Steve Gorn and many others. The two composers explored improvisation and composition in ways that blended their own unique backgrounds into a festive expression of improvised music that highlights the free power of the individual within the framework of a talented ensemble of deep listeners.
Each NOUS incarnation centers around a different focal concept, always seeking alternative ways of creating art. The name was chosen for its double meaning. 'Nous' in the French language is the plural personal pronoun in the first person, meaning 'we' or 'us'. However, within the philosophical tradition it is a word sometimes equated to intellect that is used to describe the faculty of the human mind which is necessary for understanding what is true or real, similar in meaning to intuition.
Nous band members on this recording:
~ Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost) www.christopherbono.com
~ Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, ex-Liturgy)
~ Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Prince Billy)
~ Thor Harris (Swans, Angels of Light, Amanda Palmer, Shearwater)
~ Grey Mcmurray (itsnotyouitsme, So Percussion, Tyondai Braxton)
~ Clarice Jensen (Cello, ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble, yMusic, Ra Ra Riot
~ Caleb Burhans (Composer, itsnotyouitsme, ACME)
~ Laura Lutzke (Violin, ACME)
~ Alex Sopp (Flutes, ACME, yMusic)
~ Imago (Cello, Vocals, Múm)
~ Laraaji & Arji (Zither, Ambient Sounds)
~ Akil Davis and Loud Sol Productions
NOUS III will be available for streaming and download on May 29th, 2020 via Our Silent Canvas. Pre-orders are available HERE.
Album: NOUS III
Record Label: Our Silent Canvas
Release Date: May 29th, 2020
01. We Hope The Weather Will Continue
03. A Falling Tear
04. Never Can It Be
05. Dust Suspended
06. Egac Ot Egamon
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