Circle Of Celebration, a collaboration between composer Christopher Bono’s NOUS ensemble, ambient music mainstay Laraaji and fellow sound healing musician Arji OceAnanda, is the fourth and final album to emerge from the NOUS: A Musical Rite recording sessions that took place at Dreamland Studios, in Hurley NY.
Spending time in the company of Circle of Celebration is a transcendent experience. The album has a warm, enveloping tonality that forces deep and uplifting contemplation. It’s impossible not to be moved by Laraaji’s distinctive zither technique on pieces like In This Light, where his playing is surrounded by Christopher’s plaintive piano melodies and tranquil water sounds akin to suikinkutsu.
Circle Of Celebration is fronted by three beings whose lives have been forever changed as a result of their own unique journeys through sound, meditation and Eastern practices, and yet it is an album that can be appreciated irrespective of where you find yourself on your own spiritual path. The album is grounded by the spontaneous rhythms and diverse textures created by the talented ensemble of musicians that encircled these three friends throughout this extraordinary recording session.
“I think the theme of the circle and celebration that runs through what we created on that special day in Dreamland is really important,” reflects Laraaji. “A circle is endless, and we wanted the listener to feel like they’re in this circle with us, in a joyous, ritualistic celebration. To me, these pieces feel like an invitation to look at what’s going on in your life – or has gone on in your life – that’s worthy of celebration while you’re listening to this album.”
NOUS members on this album:
• Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost): keyboards, electronics, percussion, vocal
• Laraaji: vocals, zither
• Arji OceAnanda: vocals, percussion, ambient sounds
• Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, ex-Liturgy): drums, percussion, electronic
• Thor Harris (Swans, Angels of Light, Amanda Palmer, Shearwater): drums, percussion, xylophone, custom built instruments
• Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Prince Billy): electronics, guitar, bass, drums
• Grey Mcmurray (itsnotyouitsme, So Percussion, Tyondai Braxton): guitar, percussion
• Kevin McMahon: percussion, producer, engineering, mixing
• Anthony Molina (Mercury Rev): synths, bass
• Cecilie Hafstad: vocals, percussion
• Jen Kutler: assistant engineer, percussion, vocals
Text from Bandcamp.