‘The Drone Music Festival’

By Pablo Capra
By Pablo Capra

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‘The Drone Music Festival’
Left: Astro.Gong.Yoga. is a sound healing and yoga studio with an astrology-informed approach. astrogongyoga.com Below: When James Mathers was not greeting guests, he was folding the comic-book programs or screen-printing T-shirts with the festival’s logo of droning lines topped off by tree branches.
Artist James Mathers has been making Topanga ridiculously wonderful for decades. He was one of the ten “Idlers of the Bamboo Grove” (2002) who published the Lower Topanga poetry anthology; he authored “The Children’s Guide to Astral Projection” (2003); and exhibited large metaphysical paintings in the post office from 2009 to 2013. His latest madcap idea was the “Up the Drone” music festival at Corazon Performing Arts, from December 1st at 9:00 a.m. to December 5th at midnight. The five-day festival didn’t focus on one genre, but invited musicians (many spontaneously) who create in the most psychedelic, ambient, and sacred realms. For 111 hours, the Topanga Center heard distortion, sound baths, chanting, didgeridoos, throat singers, and just plain noise. Headliners included Trancefarmers, Illustrious Ancestors, Nanny Cantaloupe, Memories from the Future, Ariel Pink, Astro Gong Yoga, Lord Blobbie, Sgt. Leper, Norton Wisdom, and Vikain. Outside the all-day-and-nightclub, Mathers greeted guests while folding the festival’s comic-book program and screen-printing T-shirts with the festival’s logo, droning lines topped off by tree branches. You couldn’t dance to the music, and you couldn’t sing along to the chorus, but participants nevertheless felt united by a bigger meaning. Mathers summarized it like this: “The Drone is Big. The Drone is Long, stretching back beyond Brian Eno, beyond the Gregorians, or even our aboriginal ancestors, beyond nature, whale song, wind and ice, beyond even the songs of the planets and stars. It is emergent worldwide as a vehicle to express the inexpressible.”
Photos couresy Pablo Capra

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December 24, 2021