Review: Drone Day :: Fredericton

Category: community 113
By Eric Hill @surgeryradio

drone2 copyBecause it was drone DAY… why not make it a whole DAY, right?

To be honest the idea occurred to me after having seen the notice for DRONE DAY last year on the Weird Canada page. But for some reason when I went looking for the details back in March I couldn’t find them. Either way I proposed to Tate [LeJeune] at Gallery Connexion that we should do an all day drone event sometime late in May. He said, “why not just do it on NATIONAL DRONE DAY?” So yeah, duh, we did.

The idea to do it for a twelve hour stretch was two-fold. One was to tap into the trance-like effect that long sessions of minimalism can invoke. Meditating over a couple of sounds, a loop, a handful of notes, can produce some fairly powerful reactions both in players and listeners (and the players ideally are listeners too). The second part of this was to allow as many people the chance to join in the flow of this process.

The results were interesting, mixed, lovely, and confounding at various turns.

As the day started off at noon, Tate LeJeune, Joel LeBlanc, my co-organizers, and I were the first arrivers, quickly joined by Lukas Bailey and Brad Perry. For the first two hours the five of us, joined occasionally by Connexion’s own Sophia Barholemew, maintained a steady ebb and flow of keyboard swells, pedal loops, bowed strings, and quietly rattling percussion. As I left to work for a couple of hours at Backstreet, the walk from the Art Centre to the store seemed extraordinarily vivid, all the sounds of Fredericton worthy of noting.

Returning at 6pm the vibe had changed, two drum kits and a guitar had been added and the decibel level was peaking quite high. It was a good old psychedelic jam. As the sun set and evening wore on and people came and went; there was an effort to pull the energy back a little to re-engage in a more collective experience… and that definitely did happen from time to time. But as the number grew it seemed obvious that you can’t keep a room full of people confined to quiet meditation unless they’re already wearing robes and have shaved heads.

So… the experience was intense and wonderful. It may not have been exactly what I had expected when I pitched the idea, but I was quite touched that so many people were willing to participate… and everyone seemed to be having a great time… that part of it is important and undeniable.

But next year maybe we’ll all sit down and workshop a little beforehand so our bliss is a better shared one.

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