Palindrone – The sound of drones

Palindrone is about sound.

We spent a bit of time looking for existing recordings of drones to use as a basis for the work, originally I found this recording:

Posted by user Rosa Schiano, who, according to their YouTube profile is an Italian activist and photoreporter. The video was taken during the Israeli military operation “Pillar of Cloud”, which took place 14th through 21st November 2012. (This in the YouTube description for the video, is how Rosa refers to the operation, searching wikipedia returns this entry for “Operation Pillar of Defense” [] for which the Hebrew literally translates to “Pillar of Cloud”).

This operation is the first where there was no significant IDF presence on the ground in Gaza, the operation conducted through the use of air power, ostensibly through the use of drones.

When describing the project idea to Cathal, this was the sound that I used to illustrate what I was initially thinking of.

Further research led Cathal to find these samples that have been put online by Rana Baker and Rowaid El-Madhoun. It was these samples that formed the basis of the ‘drone’ that we installed at Lighthouse for v1.0 of Palindrone.

Rana Baker

Rowaid El-Madhoun

Again, these samples are from Gaza. The reports on drone use that helped to inspire the creation of the piece were reporting on their use in Yeman and Pakistan. In my searches online I have not found any significant online recordings of drone use in these regions though I am sure there are good reasons for this.

Of course, the affect these machines have is the same, the sound creating an omnious terrorizing atmosphere and whilst the report that I initially read was based on the situation in Yeman, further online research has uncovered similar reports from Gaza.

We have tried to contact both people but are yet to hear back from them, hence one reason for writing this post was to creat something to point at explaining what we are trying to do and how we are currently using their samples.

We have started to experiment with creating our own sound, artificially, as well as trying to create some field recordings of light aircraft. We do not want to use the samples we have found in further public installation without having spoken with the originators of the recordings.

How we continue to shape the sound of the piece depends on a lot of things, but if either Rana or Rowaid want to get in touch then they can email me at and I will be happy to talk to them further about what we are trying to do with Palindrone.