Bons: Nomaden - Queyras, Spanjaard

Bons: Nomaden - Queyras, Spanjaard

BIS  BIS-2073

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Joël Bons: Nomaden

Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)
Atlas Ensemble
Ed Spanjaard (conductor)

In the words of composer Joël Bons, ‘Nomaden is like a journey during which the protagonist – cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras – “meets” musicians from different traditions and enters into dialogue with them. It is not a cello concerto as such, but rather a concertante work for cello and soloists from other cultures.’ With a playing time of roughly an hour, Nomaden (‘Nomads’) is made up of 38 brief sections, most of which run into each other without any pause. Two types of musical material run like a thread through the work: the ‘Nomad-music’ which return eight times but always presented each time in a different light, and the so called ‘Passages’: static episodes on one or two tones (or a chord) that explore the various instrumental timbres. These lead into the various ‘main’ episodes featuring encounters between the cello and the instruments from other cultures.

Bons composed Nomaden work for Queyras and the Atlas Ensemble – a group he himself founded in 2002, made up of 18 eminent musicians from China, Japan, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. From the Japanese shakuhachi and Chinese erhu to the Armenian duduk and the Persian setar, the scoring offers an untold number of combinations and an unheard spectrum of timbres. Nomaden was premiered by these performers in 2016, under the baton of Ed Spanjaard, and has been awarded the prestigious 2019 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

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PCM recording

Recorded on 28th October 2016 (première performance) with an additional session on 5th November 2016 at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 24/96

Recording producers: Joël Bons, Guido Tichelman (

Recording engineer: Guido Tichelman

Recording assistant: Pim van der Lee

Recording equipment: Microphones from DPA, Schoeps and Azazello (custom built); Millennia microphone pre-amplifier; Merging Technologies high-resolution A/D converters and Pyramix digital audio workstation; PMC loudspeakers; Sennheiser headphones

Post-production: Editing and mixing: Guido Tichelman, Joël Bons
Surround mixing, mastering & SACD authoring: Bastiaan Kuijt

Artistic supervision: Joël Bons

Executive producer: Robert von Bahr

In memory of sarangi master Dhruba Ghosh.

Nomaden was commissioned by Cello Biennale Amsterdam with financial assistance from Fonds Podiumkunsten (Performing Arts Fund).

The composer would like to thank Jean-Guihen Queyras, Ed Spanjaard, the musicians of the Atlas Ensemble, Johan Dorrestein and Josepha Hulskes for their inspiration and support.

This recording was made possible with financial support from Stichting Nieuw Ensemble and Sena Performers Muziekproductiefonds.
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