Christopher Bono's experimental contemporary classical project NOUS has collaborated with new age icon and laughter meditation practitioner Laraaji and sound healer / Usui Reiki Master Arji OceAnanda on a new album titled Circle of Celebration. The album's out Friday, November 12 via Our Silent Canvas but you can listen to it now -- a stream of the whole thing premeries in this post.

Nous is a collective that includes Thor Harris (Swans, Shearwater), Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy, Ex Eye), Shahzad Ismaily (Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, Secret Chiefs 3), and Grey McMurray (itsnotyouitsme, Tyondai Braxton) and their five-day improvisational session a Christopher's Dreamland Studios has already yielded three albums, and Circle of Celebration is from the fourth day. "They emerged as these protector beings,” says Christopher of Laraaji and Arji's presence on the session. “Wherever they go, they just bring this amazing sonic light. Arji and Laraaji just lifted us all up, as they always do. It was like cosmic magic.”

Laughter figures prominently into the album as atmosphere against the drones, pounding rhythms and chanted mantras. “Laughter is a sound with a specific vibration,” says Arji. “It’s a pure sound that bubbles up out of your spirit.”

Says Laraaji: “I think the theme of the circle and celebration that runs through what we created on that special day in Dreamland is really important. A circle is endless, and we wanted the listener to feel like they’re in this circle with us, in a joyous, ritualistic celebration. We wanted to create a sense of celebration and joy where you’re not so much a spectator as you are a participant, where you’re inside with us, not listening in from the outside. The listening experience should allow the listener to feel that they’re included in this circle with us, even if they’re only jamming along with their imagination. 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.”

Listen to Circle of Celebration below.

photo: Vanessa Briceno

Circle of Celebration musicians:
• Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost, Nous Alpha): keyboards, electronics, percussion, vocals, producer, editing, mixing
• 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


• Anthony Molina (Mercury Rev): synths, bass
• Cecilie Hafstad: vocals, percussion
• Jen Kutler: assistant engineer, percussion

circle of celebration

NOUS with Laraaji & Arji OceAnanda - Circle of Celebration tracklist:
Into Nousness
Of Common Origin
In This Light
Hari Ram
Through the Veil
Giving Praise

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