Choirs of Aether

Bow Thayer presents “Choirs of Aether,” a project that explores the boundaries of traditional music and things undiscovered. As Thayer puts it, “I have always been very interested in improvisational music. It is essentially the way I learned music theory.  I have discovered a way to break out of the mold of traditional six string guitar and five string banjo by fusing the two and using predominantly open tunings. I have never been one to follow written instruction - rather, my approach is to jump into a situation with pure abandon. After about two years of writing with this new instrument and variations of it, I am finally getting comfortable enough to travel into the realm of improv.” 

Back in the summer of 2017, Thayer was invited to play a set during The Discovery Jazz Fest in Burlington, VT. To commemorate this special event, Thayer decided to tackle the avant world of Sun Ra and his Arkestra: “Sun Ra was so forward-thinking and open that he was able to compose music that could be performed communally, allowing each musician to contribute their own creative expression. Some of his recordings may be too ‘out there’ for all to comprehend, but pure, unmitigated expression and joy was always the result. Although we have different backgrounds and instrumentation, and I lack his unparalleled sense of intergalactic tonal intervals, we share a prolific desire to make weird music. Choirs of Aether started as a tribute to Sun Ra, but will now forge ahead as a cosmic exploration of my original music, both new and old.” 

It may be easy to categorize Choirs of Aether as Thayer’s new “jam band” side project, but that label may close the doors on an endeavor that was founded with the intent to jam the doors open. As Thayer explains, “Of course I will continue to write songs and perform them with intended arrangements under my name, but my life has followed the long tradition of breaking tradition, and the time has come to celebrate humanity’s unquenched desire to explore present time expression and improvisation.”