Always intriguing, entertaining and occasionally challenging a Drones performance is a memorable occasion. The mood ranges widely from hilarity inducing dancing toys to haunting melodies via tunes with unusual time signatures and textures. Performing at The Royal Festival Hall
The Drones work extensively in schools, museums and arts centres, running creative music and instrument making sessions and providing inset for teachers. This year's list includes The Science Museum, The Tate Gallery and Grassington Festival. A typical one-day visit might involve a performance of the Toy Symphony and two or three workshops. The band provide a stunning array of instruments for about thirty people to play and teach pieces in which they can be used. Sometimes the workshop group join The Drones for a final performance. All workshops are tailored to the providerís requirements.
The main purpose for the existence of the band is as a place to compose new music. Some pieces are presented to the band 'fully-formed' by their composer. Others develop during rehearsal through improvisation.
Tanera has many TV credits to her name including '03 and Me' - Channel 4 and the Bafta nominated animation 'The Dog Who Was A Cat Inside'.
Steve runs inset courses on how to organise childrens' composition work for teachers at Key Stages One and Two. He has also composed for film and is the songwriter of the band.
Jon recently produced the score for 'Silkwalk' - a promenade performance exploring the silk trade in Whitechapel for the PAN Centre for Intercultural Arts, involving both professionals and community performers.
Giles composes and performs the music for the puppet shows of Steve Tiplady, currently the director of Little Angel Puppet Theatre.
Making and providing instruments
Giles, the percussionist, designs and builds sonic playgrounds and makes many of the instruments he plays. A workshop can focus on making instruments or on experimenting with sounds with materials that are provided. Once the instruments have been made we have lots of ways to make music with them.
Collaborations with other artists
The band has worked with:
dancers, puppeteers, visual artists and film makers.
Jon, for example, works with many dancers. He is currently working on a new piece with Mita Bannerjee, and is about to return for a fourth time to India to work with Jayachandran, artistic director of Imlata Dance Company and Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts. There he will be a member of the faculty for FACETS 2004, an international cross-arts collaborations choreography laboratory held in Bangalore.
Giles has toured the UK and recently the States with Steve Tiplady.