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Tom Service explores the variety of music based on a drone, from rustic dance music to works of mystic religious ecstasy. With piper Kathryn Tickell and composer Phill Niblock.

Tom Service discovers endless variety in music based on a drone - from rustic dance music to mystic religious ecstasy. Medieval Christian music used a drone to provide support for their liturgical chants; old country dances went with a swing to the drone of bagpipes and hurdy gurdy. Much Indian classical music builds elaborate melodic variations over a drone. Minimalist composer Lamonte Young has a never-ending drone piece playing in his loft in New York; and rock band The Velvet Underground brought psychedelic drones into the pop scene of the late 1960s.
Tom talks to Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell about the drones on her bagpipes, and to American Minimalist composer Phill Niblock about his use of microtonal drones in his music.

Available now

29 minutes

Last on

Sun 2 Jul 2017 17:00

Music Played

  • Alan Dargin & Michael Atherton

    Virtuoso Didj

    • Bloodwood: The Art of the Didjeridu.
    • Natural Symphonies.
  • Mcgrimmons

    The Lament for MacSwan of Roaig - Pibroch

    Performer: Angus MacDonald.
    • Scottish Bagpipes.
    • Naive.
  • Pandit Pran Nath

    Raga Darbari

    Performer: Pandit Pran Nath.
    • Pandit Pran Nath : Raga Darbari.
    • Gramavision.
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    o quam magnum miraculum

    Performer: Sequentia.
    • Ordo Virtutum.
    • Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No 104 in D major, 'London' (4th mvt)

    Orchestra: Les Musiciens du Louvre. Conductor: Marc Minkowski.
    • Haydn, 12 London Symphonies: Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenobles.
    • Naive.
    • 12.
  • Jean-Baptiste Dupuits

    Tambourin (from Oeuvre III, Sonate I)

    Performer: Matthias Loibner & Riccardo Delfino.
    • CPO.
  • Franz Schubert

    Der Leiermann

    Performer: Alfred Brendel. Singer: Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau.
    • Philips.
  • Trad

    The Peacock followed the Hen

    Performer: Kathryn Tickell.
    • On Kielder Side.
    • Saydisc.
  • Trad

    Mary The Maid

    Performer: Kathryn Tickell.
    • Borderlands.
    • Black Crow.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Herr, lehre doch mich (A German Requiem)

    Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Singer: Eberhard Waechter. Choir: Wiener Singverein. Singer: Gundula Janowitz. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • 111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon The Collector's Edition Vol.2.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 3.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Fantasia in C minor BWV 537

    Performer: Peter Hurford.
    • Great Organ Works.
    • DECCA.
  • Charlemagne Palestine


    Performer: Charlemagne Palestine.
    • Cortical.
  • Steve Reich

    Four Organs

    Performer: Steve Reich. Performer: Steve Chambers. Performer: Philip Glass. Performer: Art Murphy.
    • Steve Reich - Four Organs - Phase Patterns.
    • Newtone.
  • The Velvet Underground


    Performer: The Velvet Underground.
    • The Velvet Underground & Nico.
    • Verve Records.
  • La Monte Young

    Composition 1960 #7

    Performer: La Monte Young.
  • La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela

    The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath

    Performer: La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela.
    • The Tamburas Of Pandit Pran Nath.
    • Just Dreams.
  • Phill Niblock

    Hurdy Hurry

    Performer: Jim O’Rourke.
    • Touch Works, For Hurdy Gurdy and Voice.
    • TOUCH.
  • Éliane Radigue

    Jetsun Mila

    Performer: Éliane Radigue.
    • Jetsun Mila.
    • Lovely Music.
  • A Winged Victory for the Sullen

    A Symphony Pathetique

    Performer: A Winged Victory for the Sullen.
    • A Winged Victory for the sullen.
    • Erased Tapes Records.
  • Alan Lamb

    Night Passage

    Performer: Alan Lamb.
    • A new guide to sound sculpture vol.1.
    • FMR.
  • Gérard Grisey


    Performer: Asko Ensemble. Performer: WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne. Performer: Stefan Asbury.
    • Les Espaces Acoustiques.
    • Kairos.


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