Nathan Young started his music project Tulsa Noise as a “platform for people who otherwise might not be able to have one.”
The noise in Tulsa Noise refers to the niche music genre consisting of frequencies, elaborate pedal boards, out-of-the-ordinary vocals, extreme distortion and anything generally “noisy.”
Tulsa Noise is keeping its platform and performers alive and well during the pandemic through livestreams.
The next stream Tulsans can expect is Dronefest, from 6 p.m.-midnight on Oct. 2, and noon-midnight on Oct. 3 streaming from the Tulsa Artist Fellowship studios, 109 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The TAF Arts Intergration Grant awardee describes drone music as a subcategory of noise characterized by “a very slow attack and a very slow decay. So if you think of something fading in very slowly and then fading away very slowly.” He also notes drone music can be repetitive.
Dronefest artists will stream a live performance on vimeo.com/tulsanoise from atop the TAF studios with the Tulsa skyline in the background. Young says drone will be constant through the stream, which is free to watch.
The fest will consist of all local acts since Young didn’t want to ask anyone to travel during COVID-19. Young will perform solo and alongside Mateo Galindo as Spirit Plate. Galindo also will perform solo as Improvise Life. Other performers include Paranoid Snitch Radio, Natty Gray, Matt Hex and many more.
Hex has been a noise performer and drone fan for years. He defines drone music as “tonal perfection at its core and an unforgiving resonance, unchanging and unwavering.”
He says he’s excited to perform again and to perform as himself for the first time.
“I usually have some moniker when doing these types of shows. I’m actually planning on performing a variety of different set-ups and sound structures,” Hex says.
“I’m one to break from convention with the timeframe I’m presented to perform in — 50% structure, 50% chaos.”
Dronefest came about because Young had spent a large part of the year planning the third Tulsa Noisefest which was scheduled to take place on the same date, Oct. 2-3. Noisefest was, of course, canceled due to COVID-19.
“We had international artists from Japan and kind of seminal noise people committed to coming,” Young says.
Now instead of focusing on that fest, Young has been doing a series of livestreams during quarantine to keep the community that has grown around Tulsa Noise together through the music they all love. He also wanted to give the community members an opportunity to earn a little extra cash to make up for the paid gigs they might be missing. Every livestream had a tip jar, the earnings of which went to the artist.
“A lot of our core audience and a lot of our players seem to be some of the most vulnerable people and service workers,” Young says. “We wanted to keep the pulse of noise alive, but also help support our audience and our community because I feel like a community has developed around the project.”