The music of Adel Souto’s band 156 has been described as a drum circle in a rusty junkyard. But their new record, Memento Mori, is more like a drum circle in a graveyard — the group used only human bones to create a meditative soundtrack for contemplating life and death.
Sound morbid? That’s the opposite of Souto’s intent. “There is no evil aura or evil intent behind this music,” says Souto, who’s holding a record release party on Nov. 12, free and open to the public. “I really wanted to express the medieval European practice of Ars Moriendi [art of dying].”
The concept of “dying well” dates to the 1400s. Instead of doing your contemplation quietly in a candle-lit room with a skull, as was the custom in the Renaissance era, guests at Saturday’s event will gather at the appropriately unusual venue of SoHo Psychoanalytic.
“It’s a group of psychiatrists that are very into the work of Freud, especially some of his lesser-known interests, which is the Occult, death, surreal art,” he explains. Souto will discuss the album and poet-data scientist Katy Bohinc will give a talk on how the human skeleton relates to the structure of the universe. (And in case you’re worried, owning and selling human bones is legal in the U.S.)