Secret Drum Band

Secret Drum Band’s debut album, Dynamics (XRAY Records, August 2017), sees composers Lisa Schonberg, Allan Wilson, and Heather Treadway delving headway into creating living, breathing soundscapes, rich in rhythmic textures. Driven by five drummers, each song also employs an array of affected vocals, guitar, and synthesizers from noise musicians, often mimicking sounds found in nature. 

Stylistically, Secret Drum Band pull from a unique vantage point, drawing allusions from Liquid Liquid, The Creatures, and Crash Worship, as well as the composers’ previous groups Explode Into Colors and !!! (chk chk chk). Dynamics is a vibrant work of serious intent, expertly rendered with a playfully exuberant spark.    

 The album’s eight tracks were written in response to locations in the Mojave Desert, logging sites in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, and Hawai’i, where Schonberg’s entomology work has helped the native Hylaeus bees attain endangered species status. “Kīpukapuaulu’s” vibrant polyrhythmic cadences insinuate an endless vortex of bird calls, while the cacophonous tension of “Jazz (Timber Sale)” simultaneously evokes the complexity of the forest flora and the anxiety of approaching logging trucks.

Secret Drum Band’s live performances are transportive, an opportune meditation on the relationships between humans, ecology and music. All pieces are  carefully scored by Schonberg and Wilson, allowing each musician to realize the complex and intricate arrangements in a live setting. Dynamics aptly captures this concentrated effort , allowing sharp details to roar within the thunder of the drums.

“They’re not simply playing a show, they’re creating an immersive experience that lasts for a moment, then dissolves, creating a hypnotic alternate reality for all who bear witness to it.” —The Oregonian

Secret Drum Band will begin touring in summer 2017 in support of Dynamics with drummers Pieter Hilton (Typhoon), Anthony Brisson (Psychomagic), and sound artists Marcus Fischer (12K) and Shannon Steele (Typhoon). Please email for booking and press inquiries.  

Dynamics features performances from Marisa Anderson, Brian Mumford (Dragging an Ox Through Water), Aaron Hartman (Old Time Relijun), and Jose Medeles (1939 Ensemble).

SDB has performed at High Desert Test Sites, The Henry Gallery, MOCA Tucson, and the Portland Museum of Modern Art.

SDB III by Marcus Fischer

SDB by Marcus Fischer

IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo credit to Marcus Fischer. Album cover art by Aidan Koch.


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