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:: Christopher Bono’s major new ambient-orchestral album

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Composer Christopher Bono’s major new ambient-orchestral album BARDO will be released on the Our Silent Canvas label on July 15, 2014. The 60-minute, full-album work is a surreal musical drama narrating the journey of “The Fool” (a character derived from the ancient Tarot system), which illustrates the character’s cycle from despair and darkness, through the afterlife, transcendence, and finally rebirth. The album is distributed digitally through Naxos, and will be available on CD and special edition vinyl through Our Silent Canvas

The album is being premiered this week by All Music, which describes BARDO as ranging “from full-on classical music to echoing post-rock, to gentle, ambient textures.”

BARDO was originally a site-specific work commissioned by Sympho Concerts and was premiered to a capacity crowd at the iconic Ann Hamilton Tower in Geyserville, CA in June 2012. Performers and audience members were immersed in the sonic experience by being positioned along the length of the entire structure on double-helix interior staircases. This vertical plane was taken into consideration for the compositional process and was later translated onto a horizontal level for the larger orchestral recording. The work has a vivid and exciting future as a modern dance multimedia production currently being scheduled in Florida and New York.

BARDO (which is the Tibetan word for “transitional state” or “portal”) was produced by Christopher Bono; the orchestral sessions were co-produced with Grammy Award-winner Adam Abeshouse. The album was mixed by Bono in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning engineer Silas Brown and mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk. The phenomenal young conductor Teddy Abrams (currently assistant conductor to Leonard Slatkin with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra) led an orchestra comprising members of the Czech Philarmonic Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic at legendary Dvorák Hall. Additional ambient instruments and guitars were recorded at The Great Togetherness Hall at Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Blue Cliff Monestary, with percussion and vocals recorded at Bono’s Apollo 37 studio, both in upstate New York.

Complementing the album will be a 20-30 minute documentary directed by Ilú Media and a series of inspired illustrations by Christopher Bono’s close collaborator, DZO Olivier. DZO Olivier has created six remarkably vibrant and detailed images narrating the core story of BARDO, which have been woven into a beautiful package for the CD and limited edition vinyl.




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