Debut performance of the complete works from their new album, Bonjour, to be released by Cantaloupe Music.
Ashley Bathgate, cello and voice
Florent Ghys, bass, composition, and voice
James Moore, guitars and voice
Eleonore Oppenheim, bass and voice
Owen Weaver, percussion an voice
Bonjour • Sunday, March 20, 2016, 4PM, at The Cell - a 21st Century Salon in NYC. Bonjour is not quite your average chamber music ensemble. The quintet’s members are Eleonore Oppenheim, bass and voice; Ashley Bathgate, cello and voice; James Moore, guitars and voice; Owen Weaver, percussion and voice; and Florent Ghys, bass, composition, and voice. They are a low string band with drums and percussion founded by bassist and composer Florent Ghys in 2012. Combining basses, cello, guitars, drum set, pitched percussion, melodica, and voices, Ghys creates music that easily slides across genre barriers and brings the listener into a sound world that is equal parts groove, melody, and meditation. With excitingly uncharacteristic instrumentation, the group has altered the rules of the game. The music plays freely across boundaries between pop, minimalist, and contemporary.
In this concert Bonjour will perform works from their debut album to be released on the Cantaloupe Music label.
On the Program
Friday 3 PM
The pieces on Bonjour's eponymous debut album are musical snapshots. Performed in no particular order, each one represents a day of the week and its associated mood, some more specific than others:
Works like Sunday and Friday 3 PM draw on the Indian classical tradition of raga to craft Florent’s own idiosyncratic music that by turns builds like the best kind of post-rock anthem, grooves like a hocket-obsessed West African funk band, and has the harmonic vocabulary of a synthesizing sponge with a diplomatic passport. The players’ voices are alternately treated as additional melodic instruments and as dictaphones spewing nonsensical parallel quotes from a variety of literary, news, and other sources, as in Monday Morning. The combination of vocals with guitars (electric and acoustic) and percussion, which includes everything from drum kit to melodica to glockenspiel, all of it fleshed out by several lush and pliable layers of lower strings, yields a surprising array of textures in which to become lost and then find one’s way out of, or to just relish staying lost in for a while.