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“The Drones”, a new album from Robin Parmar

"The Drones" by Robin Parmar

“The Drones” by Robin Parmar

 

Stolen Mirror is proud to announce the release of “The Drones”, a digital album that sees us on Bandcamp for the first time. Listen to tracks free of charge. Buy only what you want. Get a bonus selection with the full album purchase. Or purchase the limited edition compact disk.

Robin Parmar is an electroacoustic composer, improviser, and sound artist based in Ireland. His pieces have been played in Canada, United States, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, England, Germany, and Sweden. Here is his introduction to “The Drones”.


“I keep coming back to the drone as the essence of music, from the primal to the contemporary. Ancients must have relished the thrum of the waterfall, the lash of wind in a storm, the sound of distant thunder detected first by the hairs of the neck. Instruments like the suburuburu (bullroarer) were held sacred in societies across the globe. From this simple twirling stick came a complex sound that seemed to mirror the cycles of day and night, tide on tide, season following season.”

“Drums were brought out for special occasions, played not only for rhythm but to create long-term oscillations and pulses. Voices were trained to sing overtone notes and create beat frequencies… sounds that transcended what simple flesh should be capable of. Is it any wonder that such music is associated with mysterious rites and religious experiences?”

“In contemporary life we are surrounded by drones of our own construction: the thrum of tire on tarmac, the shriek of heavy machinery, the whine of a television transformer, or the ever-present AC power hum. These sounds are only annoying when we do not listen. If we pay attention they become strangely comforting. Their steadfast nature provides a safe context in which we can contemplate our environment, just as the chanting of monks allows thoughts to turn inwards. The drone and meditation go hand in hand.”

Six years in the making, this collection explores the contemporary drone through many methods and in various forms. Tracks vary from field recordings (“Roadworks”) to compositions for viola and oscillator (“Transfixed In Her Stare”). Percussion, electric guitar, organ, and the bullroarer itself all contribute to the sonic diversity.

This album utilises particular harmonic relationships in order to create certain psychoacoustic effects. Since these become more apparent at increased volumes, it is recommended that you play this album as loud as is comfortable and safe. For this same reason, we recommend you download the high quality FLAC files. The streaming MP3 version provides a compromised listening experience, but is here as a free alternative.

The limited edition CD of “The Drones” adds two bonus compositions that date back to 1987. These pieces for viola were recorded onto 24-track analogue tape and are among the artist’s favourite work. The CD packages are individually made and limited to 100 copies. Every purchase of the CD comes with immediate digital download of the album.

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