24-Hour Drone at Hudson Basilica this weekend

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Eighteen acts, both soloists and ensembles, will perform in an uninterrupted stream of long-tone music during the 24-Hour Drone, which starts at noon Saturday and ends at noon Sunday. The site is Basilica Hudson, a former industrial space near the riverbanks on Front Street in Hudson. Intrepid audience members are encouraged to bring mats, blankets and provisions, though food and drink will be available for purchase. Ticket holders will be allowed to stay for any duration of time. This is one concert where falling asleep will not be a faux pas. 

“We’re depending on the people in the room contributing to what’s happening in the music,” co-curator Sarah Van Buren said. “We’re going through an ordeal and there will be healing moments as we sleep and dream together.”

For many listeners, a drone may evoke slow-moving and hushed sounds and “sonic meditation” is one way Van Buren described the event. Yet she has assembled a diverse array of composers and sound artists who are mostly young and edgy and not likely to fade into any kind of wallpaper of sound. 

“Part of the dialogue and the fun is starting a conversation on what does drone include. Individuality is a central part of it and we’re highlighting artists from marginalized communities,” she said.

Most sets will last one hour, while a few artists are allotted three-hour stretches. Resetting the stage for each new act will become part of the performance as the incoming artists improvise their way into the sound of the departing act, all to sustain the long continuity of sound.

“Drone is outside of time, and we can get lost inside of it in a beautiful way,” said Van Buren, who also produces raves. She views drones and raves as coming from the same source, the ancient practice of “sustaining a sonic environment and collaborating through music.”

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