Bonjour is a low string band with drums/percussion founded in 2012 by bassist and composer Florent Ghys. Combining basses, cello, guitars, drumkit, pitched percussion, melodica, and voices, Ghys creates music that easily slides across genre barriers, bringing the listener into an unusual sound world that’s equal parts groove, melody and meditation.
In the wake of Ghys’ beloved Cantaloupe release Télévision — a Dada-esque exploration of alto double bass meshed with layers of found sounds, processed vocals and a sci-fi sensibility — Bonjour’s self-titled debut is more directly performance-based, but no less compelling for its overall sound. 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.
Ever-curious and always engaging, Ghys has lately taken a keen interest in composing for small ensemble; his piece “An Open Cage,” composed for the Bang on a Can All-Stars’ Field Recordings, comes to mind. With Bonjour, he has found the perfect group of musicians to allow his imagination to run wild.