Ben Chatwin

Drone Signals


Feeding recordings of strings through an array of modular synthesisers and utilising modern sampling and granular synthesis, Chatwin remoulds ‘Staccato Signals’ into new microscopic electronic textures - 'Drone Signals'.

Unlike the original album, where Ben started with a blank slate and built the music up layer by layer finishing with the string quartet, this time the process began with everything on hand. The task became dismantling the tracks – stripping them apart to see what was left, letting certain sounds or instruments become the focus, and then rebuilding the arrangements around them. This allowed elements to breathe, yet also to become more static. The less chaotic and more ambient nature of these pieces suggested a related album of versions, a conceptual sibling.

In this way, ‘Drone Signals’ might best be understood as the aftermath of ‘Staccato Signals’, retaining much that made the latter such a rewarding album – it's mournful beauty, the tense, ambiguous relationship between electronic and acoustic elements, and a delicate if not volatile balance between elegance and intensity. However this time the palette is broader and more static – concerned more with monolithic structures than with sharp edges.