Much of the discussion around unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) is directed towards its capabilities of surveillance and attack. However for those living in areas of conflict, it is the engine sound of the drones that has devastating psychological effects.
Military drones fly at high altitudes and are more easily heard than seen. Even the origin of the word ‘drone’ is rooted in sound, and comes from the sound of the male honeybee. The sound of drones in areas of conflict create soundscapes of terror that can go on for many hours. The buzzing of the engines have generated nicknames like zanana in Palestine, and bangana in Pakistan.
‘A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics’ is an auditive investigation by composer Gonçalo F. Cardoso (Discrepant records) and designer Ruben Pater (Drone Survival Guide).
What kind engines are drones equipped with? What do they sound like? What are the psychological effects of the sounds in areas of conflict?
Side A features field recordings of 17 drone types, ranging from small consumer drones to large military drones.
The B side presents a soundscape by Gonçalo F. Cardoso, inspired by the abusive and destructive power or drone technology.
The composition focuses on the conceptual (sound) life and death of an aerial drone machine in the 21st century. The project will be used in installation in various museums and festivals, and the sounds will be made available for free on the web on www.droneacoustics.org
2. Parrot AR
3. AirRobot AR-100
4. RQ-11 Raven
6. RQ-7 Shadow
8. MQ-8 Firescout
10. Hermes 900
12. Heron TP
13. MQ-9 Reaper
14. RQ-4 Global Hawk