Author Topic: Drone Masters  (Read 2051 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Drone Masters
« on: October 11, 2013, 03:49:27 PM »
I have been think about drone music and what it actually is, who makes it and what defines it as such.
I feel I have quite a few recordings that could be called drone but really I could not swear that this music is drone because I can't for sure say what it is.......Who are the Drone Masters?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 04:02:14 PM by Julio Di Benedetto »

chris23

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 04:21:47 PM »
I have a weird feeling that you might get a different answer to this question from everyone who chooses to answer.

I define drone music as music that emphasizes texture and tone over melody and rhythm. Incidentally, I think it also tends to be more repetitive, utilizing loops and sustained sounds over carefully structured and dynamic pieces. I'm not a music historian, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone made the case that modern drone work has some distal connection to meditative, trance-induced rituals and practices (e.g., chants, didgeridoo, singing bowls).

In our ambient neck of the woods, I tend to identify the following as some of the more salient Drone Masters of the last 15 years: Alio Die, Mathias Grassgow, and Oophoi. 

APK

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 05:10:19 PM »
Wikipedia drone:

"In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The word drone is also used to refer to any part of a musical instrument that is just used to produce such an effect."

So yeah, a sustained underlying, rich bass-like effect. When done on its own it is considered "minimal" music because of its lack of ornamentation (leads and other non-sustained material). Common in instruments like bagpipes, and continental European equivalents. Also in certain eastern instruments. And as Chris said, forms of chants that rely on sustained underlying tones rather than melodic development.
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drone on

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 07:56:08 AM »
I define drone master as those who write long winded posts on ambient forums trying to define the enigmatic, while in the process putting readers into a drone-induced trance.  ;)

chris23

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 08:15:32 AM »
haha  ;)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 02:24:00 PM »
Thanks for the input Chris and Anthony.  drone on your forum name shall forever be my definition albeit way too short considering the nature of drone. :)

I suppose it is a bit of a tough question with different options of what drone music maybe.

I have be curious about it as a genre of ambient music yet I have listened to it as I would avant garde classic music such as Karlheinz Stockhausen or Cage.....more intellectually and yet from what you say Chris there is a meditative and trance quality which is the opposite  and has nothing to do with mind

Oophoi's Hypnos release Athlit would be considered drone?  It is one of my favorite recordings of his regardless of genre.

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 10:49:10 PM »
On the serious side, here is my list of the top dronesters:

1) Mathias Grassow
2) Klaus Wiese
3) Alio Die
4) Oophoi

petekelly

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 02:50:51 AM »
The 'Art of Dronage' is somewhat under valued in ambient methinks. 'Dronage' can be so much more than just a pedal tone type of accompaniment. Subtle rhythmic and tonal interplays and changes that take place over an extended period of time are my interests in the dronage. 'Thursday Afternoon' (Eno) is a great example of an evolving soundscape that works in this way.

In my view, it takes work to make an interesting drone - especially tonal ones. Beware the paul Stretch (particularly the default parameters) !

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 05:09:15 PM »
Yes Pete...now as I come to understand the subtle innuendoes of drone music what you say excites me about the creative possibilities from a compositional perspective.

Seren

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 12:29:52 AM »
There is something about the subtleties in a shifting tonal pallette of a 'drone' that holds my attention and interest, takes me in and shows me one of the many windows in my imagination to stare out of for a time.

It's a bit like the difference between listening to the wind and listening to an electric fan.....

my drone gods are Oophoi and Mathias Grassow.

I need to run through my collection for consideration because although I like a lot of Steve Roach's ambient music a lot I don't consider it as drone and some of Vidna Obmana's releases sort of sit in the space between ambient and drone in my head.....

drone on

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 10:06:34 AM »
I don't consider Steve or Vidna as drone either.

ffcal

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 10:34:01 AM »
I would add Mirror, Andrew Chalk, Thomas Koner (most of his work, anyway) and Celer to the list of drone artists.

judd stephens

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 08:21:18 PM »
To link with another current topic, would some of Thom Brennan be considered drone?  I've been listening to his one track work "Satori" and it is quite droney, though there are tones that rise and fall in a few second intervals, there's generally a underlying bed of drone underneath... that and Vibrant Water and Mist of his collection I would find fall under that category.

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2013, 09:45:29 AM »
No, Thom Brennan is in the same category as Roach and Vidna, and thus not drone.  I consider drone to be more of a steady, quiet, minimal sound.  For example, many of Grassows pieces are based on one chord held for the duration of the piece.  You don't find that in Brennans music generally.

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2013, 04:59:00 PM »
As Im coming to understand this peculiar side of ambient music from what I have been listening to these past weeks is as drone on suggest...."one chord held over the duration of the piece".....and this is where it gets really interesting because within this apparent minimal approach lies beneath the surface a kaleidoscope of such subtle shifts in tone and structure that the somewhat relentless  "drone" is anything but that.....or is it simply relentless and it is my mind filling in the gaps so to speak.....yet the purpose of minimal repetitive droning trance inducing music is about losing the mind.....at least for a while.....right? 

Castleview

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 06:54:52 PM »
Klaus Wiese is the drone master IMO. I just wish more of his work was available to buy without having to pay really high prices. I wish there was a Bandcamp page dedicated to re-releasing his older works (especially his Umbra releases and self-released stuff), so I can download his albums in FLAC.
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 04:41:53 AM »
I just recently purchased a used Klaus Wiese's Soma cd for $43.97....the most money Ive ever spent on a single cd.  A perfect copy it is but thats crazy or I am. 

Tomas are you listening.  Digital editions of Klaus Wiese out of print music as Castleview suggested.  :)

Poaalpina

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2013, 08:04:12 AM »
I asked 121 to shed some light on the situation with the Klaus Wiese albums . And that's what I was told:

Quote
Some of Klaus' classic albums (Space, Vision, and more) are reissued by Aquamarin/Silenzio recently, and are easily available for reasonable price.
I have to say that overall situation with copyrights of Klaus' recordings is quite difficult, and neither heir apparents not lawyers don't allow to reissue his legacy. With Gigi's untimely passing Umbra seems to be no more, so there are no legal sources of Wiese's music… at least I can hardly imagine who might be responsible for such Bandcamp site with FLAC-downloads of his music (especially self-released stuff).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 08:07:24 AM by Poaalpina »
Ambient DNA

Poaalpina

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 08:20:01 AM »
Quote
I just recently purchased a used Klaus Wiese's Soma cd for $43.97....


http://www.amazon.de/Soma-Klaus-Wiese/dp/B000055WPU
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Castleview

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Re: Drone Masters
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 08:56:13 AM »
I asked 121 to shed some light on the situation with the Klaus Wiese albums . And that's what I was told:

Quote
Some of Klaus' classic albums (Space, Vision, and more) are reissued by Aquamarin/Silenzio recently, and are easily available for reasonable price.
I have to say that overall situation with copyrights of Klaus' recordings is quite difficult, and neither heir apparents not lawyers don't allow to reissue his legacy. With Gigi's untimely passing Umbra seems to be no more, so there are no legal sources of Wiese's music… at least I can hardly imagine who might be responsible for such Bandcamp site with FLAC-downloads of his music (especially self-released stuff).

That's the response I would have expected TBH.
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