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Sculpting Sound into the Strange and Beautiful

Product Image Invocations by Christopher Bono

Invocations by Christopher Bono

$ 8.99 $ 24.99

1. Invocation No. 1 "Exhaust" (8:20)
2. Invocation No. 2 "Fish, Father, Phoenix" (16:10)
3. Invocation No. 3 "Sunday Stills The Willow" (6:30)
4. "The Missing" for String Quartet (6:28)
5. Invocation No. 2 "Fish, Father, Phoenix" Instrumental (15:09)

Christopher Bono’s introspective album Invocations was released in fall 2012. It was his first public release in seven years and his first-ever classical album. The focus of the album is Invocations, an emotional three- movement work that builds from string trio to chamber ensemble (string quartet, bass, harp, winds, percussion, and sampling). The album also includes The Missing for string quartet, written in 2010 for the European American Musical Alliance and premiered in Paris that year. The album’s originality and inventiveness was noted by composer and writer Frank Oteri in NewMusicBox, who wrote, “While much of 21st-century contemporary composition is not beholden to any rules, to the extent that I could probably claim everyone to be an ‘outsider’ in some ways, 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.”


On Invocations (2012):

“As you listen you will hear compositional clarity--something often missing in contemporary music, and well-honed chord schematics that are as expressive as they are thoughtful.”

- Bill Peters, Bill Peters Music News & Reviews

“...mellow and approachable, with vivid sonorities that linger in the memory.”

- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic

“...Bono concocts a broad, enticing, and unfamiliar musical landscape.”

- Micaele Sparacino, ConcertoNet.com

“...very meditative, almost religious.”

- Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition


On Invocation No. 1 “Exhaust”:

“While post-minimalist devices such as repeated-note ostinatos with syncopated accents, hard-hitting articulations and slow glissandos characterize the string trio movement, they never sound like clichés by virtue of Bono’s skillful textural deployment and ear for timbral variety.”

- Jed Distler, Gramophone


On Invocation No. 2 “Fish, Father, Phoenix”:

“‘Fish, Father, Phoenix’ employs taped fragments... and nature recordings over an ensemble of winds, strings, and percussion, mixed in a montage that raises questions about the meaning of life.”

- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic



“The second movement, ‘Fish, Father, Phoenix,’ is something else entirely. Here a string quintet (with double bass) is joined by harp, winds, percussion, and a series of samples. Seemingly taking a cue from the documentary-like snippets of pre-recorded speech in Steve Reich’s landmark Different Trains, Bono weaves an elaborate soundtrack around fragments of a narrative. But unlike the speech samples Reich used, which—like those in Scott Johnson’s earlier John Somebody—determine the melodic shapes and rhythmic inflections in the instrumental music that accompanies them, Bono’s speech samples are but one timbral element in his multifarious sonic palette.”

- Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox

On Invocation No. 3 “Sunday Stills The Willow”:


“‘Sunday Stills The Willow’ is a quiet, lyrical reflection that sums up the works’ poignant expressions.”

- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic


On “The Missing” for String Quartet:

“The music has a carefully balanced form and explores the sensations of loss, confusion and clarity, the ability to endure, reflect and face the future. There is a feeling listening to it that is like that of listening to Shostakovich: something profoundly powerful and emotional that must be said, with no words adequate enough to say it. Instead there is music.”

- Examiner.com