Velvet Underground's John Cale Will Conduct a Drone Orchestra for New Show

By Gerald Lynch on at

John Cale, formerly of revolutionary rock band The Velvet Underground and now a performance artist, is to conduct a fleet of drones for his new show LOOP@@60Hz: Transmissions From The Drone Orchestra.

Taking place at the Barbican in London over September 12th and 13th, the 72-year old musician has rearranged songs from his back catalogue with alternate tunings to accommodate the mechanical whirr of the flying craft into each piece. A number of drones will fly over the heads of audience members equipped with speakers, playing back the re-worked songs.

Cale is looking to reclaim the drone from its dubious association with surveillance and warfare, using the craft as "choreographed, disembodied instruments which take flight in the auditorium to create a profoundly immersive live music performance", according to the Barbican.

Those worried about getting a knock on the head from the hovering drone players needn't worry -- fans looking to attend are being reassured that a lengthy safety approval process has been carried out before Cale's performance takes to the stage. Though the show will use many drones, only a few will be in flight at any one time, each given a specific landing zone on the stage. [Barbican]

Image Credit: Piper Ferguson / Barbican