by Peter Aaron
Owing to the cold weather, performance and arts venue Basilica Hudson has traditionally shut down in the winter months. So it was a pleasant surprise to open my e-mail this month and learn about Basilica breaking the tradition for a one-off event on February 1 featuring the public debut of Nous, a new experimental music project with an impressive list of members: Christopher Bono (Ghost Against Ghost), Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, Liturgy), Thor Harris (Swans, Angels of Light, Amanda Palmer, Shearwater), Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Prince Billy) and Grey Mcmurray (itsnotyouitsme, So Percussion, Tyondai Braxton).
Nous’s instrumentation is comprised of electronics, percussion, guitar, bass, and vocals, and its mission statement is intriguing. The group “aims to build communal musical relationships that collectively work to find new ways of creating art. Each installment will center around a different focal concept, and the project will feature a fluctuating group of artists. 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.” For the Basilica performance and the following night at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, Nous will be augmented with special guests cellist Clarice Jensen, violinist/violist Caleb Burhans, violinist Laura Lutzke, flutist Alex Sopp, cellist/vocalist Imago, plus Laraaji & Arji (zither, ambient sounds) and three dancers directed by Akil Davis from Loud Sol Productions.
Obviously, no live footage yet exists of Nous. But for an idea of where founder and composer Christopher Bono is coming from sonically, take a gander at this clip of a performance of his “Fish, Father, Phoenix” at Performance Research in Brooklyn:
Nous will perform at Basilica Hudson on February 1 at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, call (518) 822-1050 or visit www.basilicahudson.com.