BONJOUR ANNOUNCES SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM
SHARES NEW TRACK “THURSDAY AFTERNOON“
ALBUM RELEASE SHOW SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 4
AT JOE’S PUB IN NEW YORK CITY
BONJOUR DUE AUGUST 26
VIA CANTALOUPE MUSIC
Cantaloupe Music is proud to announce the self-titled debut from Bonjour, the low string quartet with percussion from composer and multi-instrumentalist Florent Ghys. Bonjour features Ghys as composer and double bassist, as well as Eleonore Oppenheim (double bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), James Moore (guitars), and Owen Weaver (percussion). Slated for release on August 26, 2016, the album’s first early taste comes via the stepout track “Thursday Afternoon” — available to stream or embed HERE. Bonjour will also perform a release show on September 4 at Joe’s Pub in New York City.
In Ghys’s words, Bonjour is comprised of musical snapshots. Performed in no particular order, each one represents a day of the week and its associated mood – with some, like “Friday 3PM,” conjuring multiple emotions in a gradually building mosaic of rhythm and sound.
Musically, Ghys draws on the Indian classical tradition of raga, the Western classical tradition, jazz and other popular music to craft his own idiosyncratic style 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 or 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 and glockenspiel, all of it fleshed out by several lush and pliable layers of lower strings, yields a surprising array of textures. From the jazz-laced, indie-pop lilt of “Thursday Afternoon” to the woozy, off-kilter mood of “Tuesday Noon Around 12:21,” the album shimmers with influences that push it beyond the safety net of “new classical” music to something altogether edgy, adventurous, and even slightly art-damaged.
Ghys cites his connections to New York’s Bang on a Can organization as integral to the formation of Bonjour. “When I moved to New York City at the end of 2011, I knew I’d stay for at least a couple of years,” he says. “So I decided to play the same kind of music as in my solo work, but with real human beings. And at the time, I was surrounded by amazing musicians that I met through Bang on a Can.”
Ghys met Dither guitarist James Moore and bassist Eleonore Oppenheim at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute in 2006. “It was obvious that we had to work together,” he continues. “Ashley Bathgate is a stunning cellist who studied at Yale with James and Eleonore, so she naturally joined the band. And then a year after Bonjour was formed, we felt that the addition of percussion would make the band complete, so Owen Weaver joined us in 2013.
“I’ve always loved rock bands with a lot of bass,” Ghys notes, “and I’ve always dreamt of a string quartet that would be lower in register than the usual classical string quartet. So I was really attracted by the idea of a low string quartet, and decided to incorporate two double basses and one cello in Bonjour. I’m also trained as a classical guitarist myself, so I knew I wanted to add a guitar (acoustic and electric) that could blend with the bowed strings and bring other string timbres to Bonjour’s palette.”
1. Friday 3PM
5. Monday Morning
6. Thursday Morning
7. Tuesday Noon
Bonjour upcoming performances:
9/4 – Joe’s Pub – New York, NY