Tag Archives: Guitar Music

#TDM – The Drone Machine Project

The followings is reposted from the Glove of Bones project page. Thank you for your attention to this matter.



From the beginning of my swagger into music production of some sort or another the term ‘Drone’ has been in the room. A friend of mine, Mark Ward had started to make ambient music and through this I found the frighteningly good natured and creative community of diverse independent musicians through FaceBook groups, Sound Cloud and Bandcamp net labels. There are people out there making 8 hour compositions, terrifying field noise experiments, dreamy piano / synth / guitar pieces, industrial noise and experimental drone.

Drone (or protracted monophonic/harmonic sound) has occupied a place in music for millennia. From a wet finger circling a wine glass to bagpipes and the sitar, the hypnotic underpin of many musical forms is the drone element.

In contemporary music artists like Sunn O))) and Steve Wilson (as Bass Communion) use sustained repetition and volume to affect an audience at a level other than just song structure & lyrical content.

Following the modern trail back you get the Velvet Underground and Modern Classical composers like Terry Riley, Steve Reich & Phillip Glass.

Further into the obscure there are artist from Dada, the Beats & Avante Garde using pure sound to impact their audience.
A little before the New Year I came across Tony Conrad and the group that formed the Dream Syndicate
In particular the link between a sound experiment and an artefact had resonance.

The Long String Drone is discussed in this article and for some unknown reason the device struck a chord with me.


Digging a little deeper the sound produced from these devices cemented the fascination.

Add to that the incredible process & construction behind the work of Ellen Fullman and I was intent on having my own device.

My approach to scale is somewhat limited by domestic circumstance and budget and overall you could say I’ve given an organ transplant to a guitar. I am, as always lead by a Voodoo notion of connection to materials, history and activity. The resulting artefact is almost exactly as I imagined with the added advantage of being functional.

The intention was to build something with a physical presence that took it away from being a guitar, that it would be a functional electric device whose sound could be manipulated, that as an object it would have an ascetic of its own, and that to best of my ability it would be constructed from the ground up.
Most of the ‘guitar’ elements are exhumed from a cheap Strat copy from the local Cash Convertors, the main body is a 1.4M long piece of Oak which the very kind Alan from Custom Frames supplied and routed to my design. The project has come together far quicker than I imagined it would and bar some minor cosmetic intervention its working. Below you can see a gallery of the development process.

The creative applications for this elaborated plank are slowly coming together. I’m hopeful that I can acquire more analogue sound effect devices but that wanders into a whole new world of practical dilemmas. I’ve had one small experiment with the machine which whilst casual and unplanned, I found exciting to produce. The drone element of this is a single unedited production. the sound artefacts that are added are to colour in the narrative (a non specific walking story). This is #TDM 01.

I hope you join me for the further adventures in drone, coming to this page soon.

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Filed under Comment, Fine Art, Music, Nottingham

Six By Seven – Up Dated

Without wishing to embarrass any body (Chris Olley for example), I’d like to bring your attention to Six By Seven if it hasn’t been bought for that purpose before.

A few weeks ago I read a Guardian article about the death of Britpop or some such thing. It might have been this about ‘Guitar Music’ or this about the low sales of Rock as opposed to Pop.

More journo twitter, really. I don’t honestly care about Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and High Flying Birds & Twitchy Eye.

Our little island has contributed more than most to proper music and not all of it needs chart ranks and arena tours.

Shamefully up until about a year ago I had never heard of Six By Seven. It happened like this .

(Insert that wiggly effect that happens just before flash back scenes in the final reveal of TV crime capers)

In my day job that shall remain nameless, I fielded an inquiry from a chap in a bat cave who had been commissioned to display his recent photographic project. ’92 Stadiums’ featured a number of pictures (I forget how many) of UK football grounds. Shot in real analog black & white he had toured the country on a motorbike and photographer all of venues whilst unused. There are virtually no people in any of the shots and in some cases the stadia are only just visible between rows of terraced houses. Whilst I confess to not giving fig or other dried fruit about football I couldn’t help bit admire the concept, intent & execution of the project. The exhibition eventually went into Derby Museum and has toured at least in part elsewhere since.

Some while after the event I got into conversation with the guy about mutual interests, photography, music etc when he drops into the conversation that he’s sold several thousand albums and been on the John Peel show on a bunch of occasions.  Weird. Slightly unexpected.

Turns out Chris Olley is the main chap in critically acclaimed Nottingham based band Six By Seven. Nottingham hasn’t contributed massively to the musical landscape (unless you count the mound Paper Lace are buried under, could be worse, could be Black Lace) but 6/7 definitely gave it a good go.

Here’s an interview from 2000 or there about’s…

As well as being a unique talent Chris runs a great blog, his own record company (SNSM), has a studio in Nottingham and produces music for other artists. I’ll name drop here Julian Cope whose brother I vaguely knew of forever ago in Tamworth.  There’s a man who needs more attention.

Spend some time here. There’s no point me copy pasting what you can find pre baked.

I strongly recommend The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen By Proxy and the most recent release The Death Of Six By Seven (the ‘Nebraska’ album) In fact everything I’ve heard so far is impressive and worth some time.

Here’s a song from the Munchausen…

….and here’s a video from 2008….

Check any You Tube and you’ll see great comments. The band (?) are playing live  soon hopefully so I’ll be getting a ‘T’ and digging out my AC/DC cut off.

Here’s another blog by Chris and I would definitely advocate you try ‘I Can Make You Sick’ which is a strange listening experience and not something you want to explain to the kids when you are on the school run. Believe me….

Tell your friends. Bring back guitar bands. Sorry I was late to the party…..

UP DATE 11/02/12

There’s a Valentines Special now available at http://sixbyseven.bandcamp.com  Four really good songs on a pay what you like  transaction. Love analog, dig in with troops….

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Filed under Gigs, Hipstamatic, Music, Uncategorized, Video