OSC Director/Founder: Christopher Bono entered the world of classical music much later than most of his contemporaries. He spent his childhood and teenage years devoted to baseball; in 1999 he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners but an injury kept him from playing. Filling the void left by the end of his athletic endeavors, Bono began playing the guitar when he was 21, and for several years he toured, recorded, and performed in an alternative roots-rock style. In his mid-20s, he made the choice to learn classical composition techniques in order to more fully realize his music. For seven years, in nearly hermetic isolation, he taught himself to read music, and studied composition independently with Juilliard professor Kendall Briggs and at La Scola Cantorum in Paris.
On Bono’s introspective three movement work, Invocations, Frank Oteri in NewMusicBox, wrote, “While much of 21st-century contemporary composition is not beholden to any rules…Bono’s music sounds as though everything he writes is something he is discovering for the very first time, even if there are clear reference points throughout to the sound worlds of other composers from both our own time and other eras.”
Two of his recent choral works were recorded by the New York Virtuoso Singers with Harold Rosenbaum conducting. Film artists Tobias Stretch (Radiohead, Deftones) and Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir (Sigur Rós) made accompanying art films for the pieces.
Christopher’s next album release in 2014, BARDO, incorporates a vast source of multicultural influences including The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, various archetypal symbolism and characters from the ancient Tarot system, sound healing, and sacred geometry. This surreal musical drama narrates the path of “The Fool,” a character derived from the Tarot system, as he experiences a spiritual journey through a cycle of loss, despair, inspiration, destruction, death, the afterlife, and rebirth.
The recording of Bardo features members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic conducted by phenomenal young conductor Teddy Abrams. The sessions were recorded at the legendary Dvorák Hall in Prague, and were produced by Christopher Bono with Grammy Award-winners Adam Abeshouse and Silas Brown.
In addition, Bono’s ambient post-rock project Ghost Against Ghost will release its first full-length album, Οία, in 2014, with an accompanying US and European tour. This dark romantic work, coined a “Via Negativa” record by the author, is a collection of ambient-electronic songs featuring a full (46-person) string orchestra, noise, synthesizers, ambient guitars, vocals, and a large assortment of other sounds.