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Six Held Tones for the Almaden Tower

by Brian Grainger



Following immediately on the heels of Year Five, Workingman's Drone returns with Year Six, carrying twelve more monthly volumes of sustained tone music. Adhering to the same format as Year Five, with a dedicated focus on unchanging 'held tones' for the duration of each session, 2023's recordings consist of six different sound sources - oscillators, feedback, granular synthesizers, etc - all tuned and panned by ear for each piece.

Due to the temperamental nature of analog tools, oscillators will sometimes drift slowly across the piece's runtime, allowing factors such as temperature and electrical current fluctuations to affect the music in real time, and these drifts have been left intact on Workingman's Drone releases in order to capitalize on the unique sensations that become possible with glacial pitch deviations in a dense stereo field. The resultant recordings are minimally equalized and compressed for mastering and final release, and offer a view of the endless in their hypnotic shimmering walls of polyphony.

Workingman's Drone has always paired well with psychedelics, meditation, sleep deprivation and other forms of deep listening, and listener experimentation is always encouraged. Differences in stereo systems, volume levels, bass output and closed ear/open air playback will yield many new sonic experiences, highlighting my interest in producing music that is as much a utility as it is composition.

Adjacent recordings to Workingman's sessions are often captured and issued as Limestone Ziggurat/LSZ releases, and may also appeal to listeners seeking to explore more sound material in this vein:

As with Year Five, Year Six's titles refer topically to various locations, events and other esoteric subjects that exist only as a possible writing prompt for each session. These subjects are in no way shape or form meant to be endorsed or advertised by the recordings, and should be considered in pure aesthetic terms only. Additionally, each session is published with one or more dedications to artists, writers, scientists and other creative minds that share a date of birth with the month of the recording. These people have all, in one or several ways, influenced my own endeavors and so it is my desire to thank them here, where and when I can.


PATCH NOTES (2023/10/19)
November's six held tones are:

1. Noise Reap Foundation (Sine waveform)
2. Bastl Tea Kick (Novel waveform)
3. Behringer 1004 Filtamp (Sine waveform)
4. Behringer 1047 Resonator (Sine waveform)
5. Doepfer A-188 / 256 stages (Novel waveform)
6. Doepfer A-188 / 1024 stages (Novel waveform)

1/4/6 summed and panned R via Future Sound Systems MTX9A pin matrix. 2/3/5 summed and panned L via MTX9A. Post-processing via Arturia's Minifilter, and some basic parametric equalization.


released November 17, 2023

W/P by Brian Grainger. Recorded live at White Pillar Workshop, October 19 2023 using the R-EW Audioholistics system focusing on six separated oscillators. Mastered by The Analog Botanist. Text and design by ABM&D. This is Milieu Music number WD71, #71 in the Workingman's Drone series, dedicated to Auguste Rodin and Rene Magritte. (C) + (P) Oscillog ASCAP 2023. All lights observed.


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Brian Grainger Dayton, Ohio

Drone music, warm atmosphere and textural ephemera for the working man.

I also release music as Milieu and Coppice Halifax

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