Nous is an ever evolving, ever rotating experimental music project centered upon a philosophy of impermanence and a commitment to explore improvisation from endless vantage points. Nous was formed by Christopher Bono in 2014 and presented two shows initially Basilica Hudson and Baby’s All Right. You can read the New York Times review of the performance at Basilica Hudson HERE

The artists involved in Nous 2014 which are featured on NOUS I: A Musical Rite below are:
-Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost) www.christopherbono.com 
-Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, ex-Liturgy) www.infinitelimbs.com 
-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) 

Special guests:
-Clarice Jensen (Cello, ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble, yMusic, Ra Ra Riot) www.claricejensen.com 
-Laraaji & Arji (Zither, Ambient Sounds)
-Caleb Burhans (Composer, Alarm Will Sound, itsnotyouitsme) www.calebburhans.com
-Laura Lutzke (Violin, ACME)
-Alex Sopp (Flutes, ACME, yMusic)
-Imago (Cello, Vocals, Múm)


The Nous project recently headlined the third day of the O+ festival in Kingston, NY on October 7th. You can read more about this unique ensemble here. This show was a culmination of a month long collaboration between Christopher Bono and legendary jazz vibraphonist Karl Berger (Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry,  Creative Music Studio). 

The project featured 16 musicians including:
-Karl Berger  (Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry,  Creative Music Studio)
-Billy Martin , drums (Medeski, Martin, and Wood)
-Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost)
- Ingrid Sertso
-Christopher Pravdica (Swans)
-Steve Gorn- Indian Flute
-Sana Nagano
-Jane Scarpantini
-Ira Coleman (Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock)
-Ken Filiano- Bass
-Alvaro Domene- guitar
-Kato Hideki- Bass (John Zorn, Death Ambient)
-Mike Pride- Drums (Millions of Dead Cops, Anthony Braxton)


NOUS I: A Musical Rite

1) Ya Ma Toh
2) Kabay
3) This Winter Can Not Last
4) Dancing Marvels
5) Not All Seeds Fail
6) Shumisah
7) Original Energy
8) The Un-Led
9) Beneath
10) Transitory Reality

Ya Ma Toh/Kabay

Dancing Marvels

Shumisah

The Un-led

Christopher Bono: keyboards, electronics, percussion, vocals Greg Fox: drums, percussion, electronics
Thor Harris: drums, percussion, custom built instruments
Shahzad Ismaily: electronics, guitar, bass
Grey Mcmurray: guitar, percussion
Caleb Burhans: violin, viola
Cecilie Hafstad: vocals, percussion
Imago: cello
Clarice Jensen: cello
Jen Kutler: assistant engineer, percussion, vocals
Laura Lutzke: violin
Anthony Molina: synths, percussion
Alex Sopp: flute
HariPrakaash: gong
Kevin McMahon: producer, engineering, mixing
Joe Lambert: mastering
Jeremy Kinney: editing
Patrick Hyland: editing
Danila Luppino: graphic design
Vanessa Briceno: photography
Michael Godio: photography
Emilia Sauaia: photography
Yura Liamin: photography

This Winter Can Not Last

Not All Seeds Fail

Original Energy

Beneath

Nous is an experimental music project exploring ritual and spontaneity within music. Nous aims to build communal musical relationships that collectively work to find new ways of creating art. Each installment centers around a different focal concept, and the project features a fluctuating group of artists. As founder Christopher Bono explains, “Nous aspires to bypass the lower level thought patterns of the egotistical mind and encourages the connection of those involved to reach a higher level of consciousness, providing a creative space where intuitive, unexpected, and unexplained results can occur.”

The name Nous was chosen for its double meaning. Nous means “we” or “us” in French; however, within the philosophical tradition it is sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, and is used to describe the faculty of the human mind which is described in classical philosophy as necessary for understanding what is true or real, similar to intuition. In the Eastern tradition, the sanskrit equivalent is Buddhi, which denotes an aspect of mind that is higher than the rational mind and that is attracted to Brahman (“Truth” or “Reality”).

The impulse for the Nous project came after composer Christopher Bono finished his full-length orchestral work Bardo. After spending two years working on the score and the studio recording of Bardo, Bono was driven to experience and investigate completely different approaches to musical creation.

About the Nous Dreamland Recording Studio Sessions and Approach:

While in the calm, wintry, forest solitude of Dreamland Recording Studio (nestled in Upstate NY) and in line with the intention of Nous, the artists began each day applying meditative techniques to bring them further away from the habitual mind states of everyday life in order to create the space for natural intuition to unfold. For seven days of three to four studio sessions per day, the approach cycled between indeterminate and free improvisation, guided conceptual visualizations derived from esoteric graphics, meditations from different philosophical or esoteric traditions, mantric, chant, poetry and language experiments, and concepts derived solely from general musical or movement related guidelines. Many of the specifically musical ideas were guided by certain tonal areas, interval restrictions, modular rhythmic, melodic fragments, and simplified lead sheets.

Though some of the artists knew each other, the group had never played together and came from very different background, so the style of music was difficult to predict. However, from the beginning the influences for the project were drawn from elements of Post-Rock, Minimalism, Indeterminacy, World, Kraut-Rock, Psychedelic/Experimental Rock, Neo-Shamanism, Noise, Ambient, Drone, Folk Chant, and Free Jazz. Within the widely varied careers of the various musicians, there is at least one connection to each of these genres.