This Saturday, our vast and native land will be celebrating the equally vast soundscapes of drone music.
The idea to designate May 10 as National Drone Day was hatched by Marie Leblanc Flanagan, executive director at Weird Canada, our nation’s Mounties of experimental music. In a sense, National Drone Day came about as a Festivus-like reaction to last month’s Record Store Day.
“I was thinking about how, with every new holiday we make, it’s always the commercial aspect that rises to the top. I wanted a day where I could be excited about and celebrate something meaningful,” Leblanc Flanagan says.
Although perhaps harsh to the ears of some, the continuous humming and buzzing of drone music — which even defies proper definition for this day, so go hog wild — has certain meditative and mood-altering qualities. Leblanc Flanagan suggests drawing while listening to drone music, or to simply let your mind wander. She also wants people to spend the day getting together and immersing themselves in drones. Listen to drone music, or even make it, if you wish.
In conjunction with the day, there are drone music events happening across the country, some official, and some not. The only advice Leblanc Flanagan had for event planners was to keep it accessible and pay-what-you-can, if possible.
“When you’re droning alone, you’re the master of a small ship,” she says. “When you make drone music with other people, the subtle changes in sound can lead you in unexpected directions.”
She says making drone music, which really just requires you find a noise and keep it going, is the most inclusive musical genre there is.
“It’s very easy for people to participate in a jam. For a regular music jam session, you need a certain level of skill to participate. With a drone jam, you’re just making ambient noises.”
The folkloric backstory surrounding National Drone Day has yet to be ironed out, but it will likely involve Tim Hecker as some sort of sainted bestower of gifts.
To get in the mood for National Drone Day, here’s a mix curated by Constellation Records flow architect Graham Latham:
Montreal’s Drone Day event will happen at the Plant at 2 p.m. Details here.
For more info, visit Drone Day’s official website. ■