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The Drone Cycle 2000 @ The Ambient Ping - Po Boys Club

dreamSTATE with Steven Sauve at Po Boys Club
July 25th, 2000 - dreamSTATE with Steven Sauvé (F#) - photo by Mario Georgiou

The Drone Cycle 2000 was a series of concerts in which dreamSTATE visited one note of the chromatic scale each month of the year as a foundation for ambient improvisations with a rotating cast of special guests. The drone note was not omnipresent and was only implied at times, but was a home and harbour while venturing into unrehearsed experimental ambient improvisations with each guest before a live audience. They began in C and ended in B.

The series was hosted by THE AMBiENT PiNG - Toronto's then-weekly live ambient performance event.

In 2012, on the "Chromatic Anniversary" of The Drone Cycle 2000, dreamSTATE launched The Drone Cycle 2012, with new special guests performing with them on a wide variety of instruments, as they traversed the scale back downward.

In 2024, to celebrate the second "Chromatic Anniversary" dreamSTATE are releasing music from each month of the Drone Cycle 2000 on the dates of the original concerts, until a 12-track album, The Drone Cycle is completed on December 5th. The first track The Man from Callisto is with special guest Wally Jericho and was released on on January 25th, 2024. All the current tracks can be found (for free) at Bandcamp.

Below you'll find copies of the original street posters, designed by Jamie Todd and Mario Georgiou, the individual track images - hand embroidered by Lynn Harrigan, and more information about the guest artists.

New photos and information will be added each month of 2024. ~ Scott M2

January 25th, 2000 ~ NIGHT OF THE LIVING DRONES ~ C

Download Poster PDF

Wally Jericho - Photo by Mario Georgiou

 

The Drone Cycle track 1
The Man from Callisto
featuring Wally Jericho
Wally Jericho - January 25th, 2000

Wally Jericho helped us launch the Drone Cycle in an evening of improvisations around the note C.

Knowing Wally's abilities on trumpet, bass, minidisks, loops and treatments, his good nature and his feel for ambient music meant we had a high confidence level for the night ahead. Wally had re-tuned his bass to all Cs and Gs which lead to some extra low bass drones and lovely harmonics. He told me later that he left the bass tuned that way for months after the show as he enjoyed the new possibilities.

Wally is best known, however, for his trumpet playing, so we ensured than his Drone Cycle album track, The Man from Callisto featured his spacy trumpet prominently. The track's cover image is an impression of Jupiter's moon Callisto by fiber-artist Lynn Harrigan and is a nod to Wally's beautiful piece Callisto 1.0 which is available on Bandcamp and the streamers on his EP Preface.

Find Wally's music on Bandcamp, and also the streamers like Spotify and Apple Music.



February 22nd, 2000 ~ RETURN OF THE LIVING DRONES ~ C#

February Drone Cycle poster

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Northern Ark Cover Image

Kurt Swinghammer - Photo by Mario Georgiou

The Drone Cycle track 2
Northern Ark
featuring Kurt Swinghammer
Kurt Swinghammer - February 22nd, 2000

February's drone was C# and our special guest was Kurt Swinghammer.

Kurt is well known around Toronto as a visual artist (murals, paintings, set design, CD covers, etc...), a unique pop singer, a guitar ace (Sarah Slean and Ani DiFranco are two gigs) or a video art director (Maestro Fresh Wes, Colin James, etc...) but few would suspect he's also a creative electronic musician/experimentalist with a wicked arsenal of devices and a good feel for ambient.

I've worked with Kurt on a number of musical projects, however, and knew he would be an excellent ally in our attack on C#. This night he brought along his new Steinberger guitar, Omnichord, Moogerfoogers and a variety of other processors and loopers. The night started simply and beautifully and seemed to get darker and more chaotic as it evolved. Highlights for me were sections where Kurt employed slide or E-bow on his guitar and some strange computer data noises coaxed from his Omnichord. We chose a beautiful, spacy selection with guitar and looping for The Drone Cycle album. ~ Scott M2


March 14th , 2000 ~ VALLEY OF THE DRONES ~ D

March 2000 Drone Cycle poster

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Petrified Forest Cover Image

Michael Rockwood - Photo by Mario Georgiou

 
The Drone Cycle track 3
Petrified Forest
featuring Michael Rockwood
Michael Rockwood - March 14th, 2000

March's drone was D and our special guest was Michael Rockwood.

Michael Joseph Rockwood has moved his focus from musical to visual art, so we're very happy to share some beautiful music created with him in his musical prime.

Michael's mixed media artwork can be viewed online at his Instagram page.

I first crossed paths with Mike when we both played at a Planet Of The Loops event (a long-running, live-looping based event which preceded even THE AMBiENT PiNG). I loved his musical vibe and later invited him to join us for a Drone Cycle concert. He kindly invited dreamSTATE to open for his band Zoebliss a few days before and joined our set - which gave us a taste of the good things to come.

Mike's very electric rock-guitar playing can be found snaking throughout the 2004 Memory Bank album Litany and Lethargy at Spotify. I think that's the most recent online evidence of his guitar playing.
~ Scott M2

 

April 18th , 2000 ~ RESERVOIR DRONES ~ D#

April 2000 Drone Cycle poster

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5-Space Cover Image

Mark Thibideau photo by Mario Georgiou

The Drone Cycle track 4
5-Space
featuring Mark Thibideau
Mark Thibideau - April 18th, 2000

April's drone was D# and our special guest was Mark Thibideau.

Mark Thibideau (aka Sedative aka Crave) is a crack electronic musician, best known for his techno and house music but who also delves into the ambient realms, minimal techno and dub.

Mark and his twin brother Matt (also a crack electronic musician - who joined us for The Drone Cycle in November 2000) have an amazing collection of vintage and modern synths and samplers and are skilled programmers. For this show, Mark brought out a Prophet 5 synthesizer with a Boss BF1 flanger and a Yamaha analog delay. ~ Scott M2

 

May 16th , 2000 ~ A FISTFUL OF DRONES ~ E

May 2000 Drone Cycle poster

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Stringology Cover Image

The Drone Cycle track 5
Stringology - featuring
Eric Hopper & Arnold Sprogis
Eric Hopper and Arnold Sprogis - May 16th, 2000

May's drone was E and we had two special guest guitarists: Eric Hopper and Arnold Sprogis.

Arnold Sprogis (Sprogis Audio) is one of the founders of THE AMBiENT PiNG and is an electronic musician, guitarist and visual artist. We loved his use of a very large vintage hard-drive ring to bow his guitar and made sure to include a selection featuring this technique for The Drone Cycle album.

Eric Hopper (Sylken) is an old musical friend of Scott and Jamie and they used to play together, pre-dreamSTATE, in an electronic project called Radio Silence. He'll be appearing as a guest on several upcoming dreamSTATE albums on synthesizers - but on Stringology he's adding his clean guitar tones to the mix. Eric's main musical project, Sylken, was originally called Random Act and featured Arnold, Wally Jericho, Steven Sauve and other dreamSTATE friends as early crew members.~ Scott M2

 

June 13th , 2000 ~ DRONE WITH THE WIND ~ F

June 2000 Drone Cycle poster

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Tiny House Cover Image - a  house made in a cello

Cheryl Ockrant plays her cello
The Drone Cycle track 6
Tiny House - featuring
Cheryl Ockrant
Cheryl Ockrant (aka cheryl o) - June 13th, 2000

June's drone was F and dreamSTATE's special guest was looping cellist Cheryl Ockrant (aka cheryl o).

We first encountered Cheryl performing at a Planet of the Loops show at THE AMBiENT PiNG and were happy to discover a cellist with f/x pedals and an enthusiasm for improvisation and looping. Besides participating in The Drone Cycle, Cheryl was a regular PiNG performer in a variety of musical situations and helped to organise our Summer Ambient Parties.

Cheryl continues to work in the improv scenes throughout the city and with her unQuartet and Toronto musical institutions like DanceWorks and CCMC.

For her Drone Cycle set, besides her own cello treatments and live-looping, she was being further processed by a mutual friend, Steven Sauvé (aka karmafarm), stationed in the audience. (Steven will be appearing as our musical guest next month.) Cheryl is also a Tiny Houser which inspired the title and image for this drifting ambient piece.~ Scott M2


Next Chapter coming on July 25th, 2024

...

2000 ~ The Drone Cycle 2000 ~ Ted's Wrecking Yard
1999 ~ Feedback Monitor 3rd Anniversary ~ Planet Of The Loops ~ THE AMBiENT PiNG
1998 ~ World Electronic Music Festival ~ Interference Orange

1997 ~ waveforms at The H5 Project ~ Symptom Hall

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