Paraorchestra – Tones, Drones & Arpeggios

Jonny playing drums for Paraorchestra



Based on Charles Hazlewood’s acclaimed 2018 BBC4 programme, Tones Drones and ArpeggiosMinimalism Changed My Life explores work by some of the great composers of the genre who rebooted classical music in the 20th Century.

The subtle transformative inner politics of Minimalism and what it does with time and motion seep through like musical aromatherapy

**** The Arts Desk 

Key musical minimalist ingredients are blended with a visual narrative that brings the stories behind the genre to life – including Charles Hazlewood’s own journey into minimalism – firmly placing them in a global historical context; sexual liberation, economic instability and the existential threats of the Cold War and Cuba Missile Crisis.

Minimalism Changed My Life: Tones, Drones and Arpeggios is a truly unique opportunity to experience the last big idea in classical music, one that has rocked mainstream music and reverberated through the genres ever since.

Minimalism Changed My Life premiered at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 28th September, 7.30pm and played Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Wednesday 2nd October, 7.30pm

Terry Riley: A Rainbow in Curved Air
Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells
Philip Glass: Music in Similar Motion
Pauline Oliveros: A Woman Sees How The World Goes With No Eyes
Pauline Oliveros: The Last Time (Ultima Vez)
Steve Reich: Music for a Large Ensemble

Produced by Paraorchestra

My role

I was asked to perform percussion for the tracks ‘A Rainbow in the Curved Air’ by Terry Riley & ‘The Last Time’ by Pauline Oliveros.

I explored a lot of the djembe on the ‘A Rainbow in the Curved Air’ and its chaotic, hypnotic improvisation section. I then wanted to layer more sound design percussion elements that I made myself for ‘A Rainbow in the Curved Air and ‘The Last Time’.

My intention being not to create overall synthetic sounds that may feel jarring against the atmosphere of the pieces but to work and push forward the pieces more. For ‘Rainbow’ I wanted to manipulate more natural samples from bird calls to leaves and branches being hit.

For ‘The Last Time’, I manipulated more natural sounds that are changed live via effects on the spd-sx with echo delay and pitch changing. I also played drums on the track ‘Samadhi’, created by Charlotte Harding, which involved multiple time signature change and a wonderful orchestral sections behind heavy drums.