IMPORTANT NOTICE: Drones Against Frontex is a sound- and video-installation. None of the artists involved will play live.
Is Drones Against Frontex a commissioned, funded or state-aided work?
A: There is no budget for the project at this stage. In Germany, the situation for refugees is at an unbelievable low point. Over the summer in Nuernberg, where we (the group DRNTTCKS) live and work, there were big tents put up to cope with the amount of refugees. The maintenance with daily supplies, water and food is terribly bad, potential helpers don’t know where to start, officials just look away, and all that is just the consequence of the European Refugee Policies.
So we started this protest to look for an aesthetic examination of the whole issue. That means at first it all started as a project between local experimental musicians and friends from other parts of Germany. We were astonished of how many other musicians and/or artists joined in, and the whole thing grew naturally, without anyone asking about the m-word.
The installation will be presented within a local underground festival, which normally attracts around 800 – 1000 people on two days, is managed completely on a DIY / voluntary basis. Every participating band gets a small amount of money afterwards, which differs between 100 and 150 euros (or did so in the past 20 years).
We could have written a thousand applications, but time is tight, and as of now, it’s matter over money. If any money is made with the project, it’d be rather donated, if that is the will of the group.
How did all of you get together?
A: We mostly don’t know each other, we’ve never played together in a group before – and we won’t either, as all you will hear are recordings of sounds made in the last few months in different parts of the world. These sounds migrated, they moved, and they’ll find a temporary residence in this one context.
We have the deepest respect for the work of every single person involved, and that’s why we asked these artists to participate. We don’t know how the installation/the protest will move on. Although not knowing about the „how“, we can assure you: it will go on.
How are the sounds selected or is it an „anything goes“-project?
A: Within the selection process, some alterations were required, but as of now, most pieces fit together very well. We are very astonished by how different the outcomes sound in general. The one and only fixed target is that the drone/improvisation had to be on the tone D. As played by multiple musicians, harmonic shifts will occur, as well as overtones and different rhythms.
After two rehearsals with the sounds we’ve got right now, it’s between sounding very low and quiet and loud, very noisy and nervous parts. It sounds like tension, and that fits.
Why were Drone and Noise chosen as musical forms?
A: At least in Europe we have the strong impression that the whole Drone or Noise community mostly spares out politics. As being socialized by punk, hardcore and related D.I.Y. culture in our youth, we think that any kind of art should at least allow a political interpretation, that art should reflect its circumstances and should transcend borders between art and society, or the personal and the political sphere.
Furthermore, just like a lot of other regions of the world, Europe society-wise seems to slowly float into a dream-like state of post-politics – the Endzeit festival is a good example for that phenomenon. It started in the early 80s out of a lively squatting and radical culture scene, and now it’s more or less mostly about the music.
We miss that combination.
So the Drones Against Frontex is also an attempt to put these pieces back together once more. From our experience of contextualising group music in a political frame, this also works as people show a lot of appreciation and gratitude for connecting music and daily life circumstances.
Why Drone/Noise? Without going too deep into that, we think this kind of music is a music that fails, in a positive way. It fails at getting instrumentalised by, excuse the generalisation, mainstream media and industry. It fails at giving out simple answers and slogans. It fails at satisfying listening habits. And by doing that, it opens up room for interpretation, as listening to music is a process as creative as making music.
Of course we also appreciate the double meaning of „Drone“ in this context, as the industrial-military drone plays a growing part in Frontex’s work. Drones reflect that somnambulist state of post-politics: Drones Rule Everything Around Me / D.R.E.A.M.
Is there any special meaning in the D played by the musicians?
No. „Drone“ starts with a D, accidentally. In the beginning we were thinking of allowing the tones D, A and F (as in Drones Against Frontex), but we feared that the outcome would be too much of a sound quagmire, so we (that’s us and the core group of participants) discussed it and reduced it to the D.
How can I participate?
Just get in touch via the Kontakt-form and tell us in which way you want to participate. At the moment we’re in the first stages of planning installations all over Germany (or anywhere else), so we’re open to any possible input concerning places to set up the installation, artists joining in and D’s being played.