Drums and Drones
Drums and Drones is the name of a sonic/optic project of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ drummer Brian Chase (sound), and Ursula Scherrer (light). Born initially as Brian’s solo venture, it has since expanded to include the video projection of Ursula as a key component of the experience. The inspiration for Drums & Drones originates from the Dream House, the ongoing sound and light installation by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in TriBeCa, NYC, and with that the notion to investigate the detailed acoustic properties of drums and percussion. Expansive soundscapes are constructed, like aural snapshots of tone, uncovering the richness of sonic depth hidden within the resonance of these instruments. The music is built according to the principles of Just Intonation, a method commonly known as “nature’s tuning system.” Scherrer’s visual elements explore and reconstruct elements of found forms, whether in filmed objects or light itself; an architectural abstraction continues to emerge and re-evolve, and layers stack to reveal shifting fields of depth and perception. In this way, the projections function as ‘moving paintings’ designed to entrance and entice, and bring on what’s been referred to as a ‘drone state of mind.’ Chase’s previous collaborators have included guitarist Alan Licht, pianist/composer Anthony Coleman, and John Colpitts’s Man Forever.