Drone Is a recent Documentary focusing on the intimate stories of those who have suffered at the hands of a murderous new technology being employed by military forces. It speaks to those who have lost loved ones in Pakistan and talks to those who sit behind the controls in the US. It looks at the recruitment process behind Drone operators and the people who stand against a technology which allows us to kill from afar.
Snasen is the producer who was tasked with producing the music behind this somewhat harrowing project. Here he guides us through his musical production process as he soundtracks a sometimes haunting and ominous subject matter.
From A Distance
It´s a loop of an actual military Drone. The shiny clingy bits is a Minimoog through a re 201 space echo tape delay with a ring modulator on top. I'll see clouds with the morning sun peeking through. Makes me think of early tape music.
This is the opening track of the documentary. It starts with a arial shot over new York. The rest of the album has little bits and pieces from this track scattered around.
This is quantized feedback made by hitting spring reverb tanks and processing the results through various boxes. Bjørn Rumelhoff-Hansen played droney guitar on it an made the whole thing stick together. Sounds like crying metal.
This is sketch no.4 for a sequence where a miniature drone chases a human target. Trying to get my Carpenter on minus the pads. Also a lot of spring reverb getting pummelled.
A stumbling march through a fog of digital and analog dust.
Another take from the chase scene. It´s a Moog Mf-104 delay that feedbacks a heartbeat like pulse. A sample of bees through a Phonogene creates the buzzy pads. Scary unstable track.
It´s a sequenced oscillator with short envelopes into a spring reverb fed into two separate BBD delays that intertwines. It´s like the sounds are falling over. I quite like this one an I’m not sure I could recreate the sounds again.
Parts of this track was used for a scene that shows of a military parade. It has a ton of layers bouncing of each other to create an unstable feeling. I remember using an old harsh sounding string synth from Russia for the pads. At the end of the track it feels like the sounds get lifted into a drone.
Sticks & Stones & Drones
The director talked about how the kids in Waziristan would throw stones at Drones. It´s an image of how extremely one sided the conflict is. Made using different oscillators that influences each other. The sounds feel very light but with a lot of complexity.
It´s mainly a E350 Morphing Terrarium with the MTX expander from Manhattan Modular that scans through different wavetables. Nervous oscillation.
Village & BBD Heartbeat
Another version of the E350 and a Moog delay on feedback. Steel and threat and anxiety.
Two separate delays with random-ish timing. The original is around 20 minutes long.
I used a desk fan with a contact microphone layered with a oscillator and four LFO´s as basis for the sound . The scariest and deepest track I think.
No idea how I made this. A lot of sub. Sounds like something bad coming through the clouds.
This is probably my favourite track. The English translation would be “steel waves” wich sounds kinda cheesy but makes sense in this context. To me it´s just really sad. I made it by sticking a piece of leather between three springs in a reverb tank and controlling the feedback by moving the leather up and down. Everything run through a Electro Harmonix Memory Man.
More details on Drone The Documentary can be found HERE.
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