>   Don Falcone                            
< Relator/Performer of V          

Don Falcone - photo by Karen Anderson > "Over time, the original search in space (outer, then inner) becomes an expanded adventure. For me, it would be Calvert and the Hawklords' onstage mechanized persona which introduced me to Japanese Noh Theater. Tracks like Automoton really prepared me for minimalist music works by Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, and even the dark ambient works of the 90s. So much so that I might one day pursue ambient soundscapes with Thessalonians
and Spaceship Eyes.
" <   [ D.F. ]

"Don Falcone has built his musical career on diversity."
    DIVERSITY - that's the key- and magic word when it comes to describing the manifold musical acitvities of San Francisco based multi-instrumentalist Don Falcone.
The music he's been creating in the framework of various bands and on solo-paths spans from ambient, to space(rock), from progressive/psychedelic tracks to drum 'n' bass with the occasional spoken word/poetry experiment thrown in. And the good thing about Falcone's work is: he's not keeping these sonic worlds apart. On many of his records and collaborations you can find them side by side, intertwined, mixed and assembled in surprising ways.

Falcone started his musical activities in the eighties, playing the clubs of San Francisco (The Sound of Music, Heaven's Gate, The Omni...) when he was asked to contribute his synthesizer talents to the first Heavenly Music Corporation CD by Kim Cascone. Soon after, Don joined Cascone in Thessalonians, Spice Barons, and Satellite IV.

Falcone also became a member of MELTING EUPHORIA, a band that's - as far as I know - pretty well known amongst the space-rock/psychedelia fans also outside the US of A. Tracks of ME also appeared on various HAWKWIND-related samplers. Don played keyboards and was in charge of the lyrics and vocals. His work can be heard on ME's debut album "Through The Strands Of Time".
After he split from MELTING EUPHORIA, Falcone started to concentrate on his solo-projects. In 1995 he started his main-solo project SPACESHIP EYES, a musical vehicle that's definitely focusing on the electronic genre, but at the same time features the whole diversity of styles mentioned above. In Falcone's own words:

"Spaceship Eyes is basicallly a solo project that has mutated from ambient/prog to drum 'n' bass to electronica, and has also performed as a live progressive/space rock/prog/electronic ensemble to confuse things more."

With SPACESHIP EYES Falcone shows his exceptional talent to create hypnotic and intense soundscapes - without falling back into vintage 70's sounds and patterns.
1997 saw KAMARUPA, the first SE release on Noh Poetry Records. Here's an audio-teaser from that album:

> LISTEN to an excerpt of Storm of Cleopatra.

Soon after that SPACESHIP EYES signed with Hypnotic Records and the following releases explored the drum'n'bass territories. During this time Falcone also collaborated with former Hawkwind bass- and keyboarder Harvey Bainbridge.

During this time SE also appeared from time to time on various Frisco-club-stages and Falcone founded another outlet for his musical research: QUIET CELEBRATION, which he himself describes as an "ethno-ambient quartet". QC's sound is indeed as original as this term indicates. You also find a little tinge of jazz here, travelling along poignant ambient-electro-soundpatterns. Beautiful and original.
> LISTEN to an excerpt of QUIET CELEBRATION's Salmon - from the cd 'Quiet Celebration'.

But juxtaposing various musical styles on his own is evidently just one path for DF in order to achieve the desired musical diversity. Another one he's following: bringing together an unusual variety of musicians, combine their artistic talents and see/HEAR what kind of musical soundspheres may appear under his hands on the mixing-desk.
This is the quintessential approach of Falcone's other current main musical outfit: SPIRITS BURNING, that released it's first record NEW WORLDS BY DESIGN in 1997 via the Gazul label.

Spirits Burning - New Worlds By Design - coverSB could be called a virtual orchestra, as most of these musicians - spread all over the globe - never saw each other. The usual procedure for getting a SB album together is, that DF gets in touch with the musicians he has in mind and asks them for (raw)-material (music and lyrics) -- these contributions can be mere sounds or almost finished songs/compositions. Naturally, the incoming source-material is as diverse as the collaborators in question.
Quite a few of those, featured on the first two SB releases, can also be found on this website: The Moor (Sweden), Nemesis (Finland), Pressurehed (USA), former Hawkwind members and even myself... - apart from these there are a couple of other highly interesting and prolific SB-collaborators: Porcupine Tree, F/I, Daevid Allen (Gong), Malcolm Mooney (original vocalist of CAN). From this (short) listing of the SB contributors you may imagine that the typical "genre" listener will be in for quite a few surprising turns in style. Brooding, dark and highly atmospheric ambient tracks like "The Ticking of Science" are featured next to the intense "The Eagle has Landed" - feat. the unique vocal-artistics by M. Mooney and his band
the 10th Planet - next to pieces that combine rock and lyrical-sound structures w. spoken word/poetry.
All in all it's a very organic process - and this character, thankfully, is also apparent on the final records.

REFLECTIONS IN A RADIO SHOWER - coverSPIRITS BURNING is also the project where the Calvert-connection kicks in. As already mentioned: a lot of Calvert-influenced musicians have already made their contribution to SB albums - but Calvert himself can also be heard on the 2nd SB album REFLECTIONS IN A RADIO SHOWER, released in 2001. Falcone took an original recording of Calvert reading his poem CENTIGRADE 232 and intergrated it into the track DRIVE-BY-POETRY.
> LISTEN to an excerpt of it HERE.

And here's another EXCLUSIVE Calvert-Falcone connection: When the idea was around to assemble a Calvert-tribute/cover project (a project I had to abondon due to lack of time...) Don came up with his version of a quintessential track from the last years of Calvert's work as a solo-artist: WORKING DOWN A DIAMOND MINE. True to his style, Falcone made his very own version out of it. So, as a true 'world-premiere':
> LISTEN to Don Falcone's version of WORKING DOWN A DIAMOND MINE

Falcone, as many of his collaborators, has expressed great respect for the work of Calvert - he's contributed an extensive essay on him to this site - the same goes - of course - for Calvert's main musical comrades in arms: HAWKWIND. This appreciation can also be heard on Falcone's cover version of Calvert's/Hawkwind's classic HIGH RISE, which is part of Daze of the Underground, a Hawkwind tribute album, released by Godreah records.
> LISTEN to Spirits Burning version of HIGH RISE.

Spirits Burning - FOUND IN NATURE - coverWith this we're almost in the present. Meanwhile the third SPIRITS BURING album FOUND IN NATURE has recently been released and Falcone has instigated a couple of other collaborations.
Along the ongoing SB and QUITE CELEBRATION, there's a new "spacey" outfit called FIRECLAN ["a space rock/trance rock trio"], where MELTING EUPHORIA's Mychael Merrill and Luis Davila are teaming up with DF.
> LISTEN to an excerpt of FIRECLAN's Electric Sunrise - from the cd 'Sunrise to Sunset'.

And there's (my favourite new Falcone-project) SPACESHIP MOOCH, in which DF is teaming up with Sci-Fi writer Stephen Palmer to create some "dark ambient chill" together. And again - this is not your 'usual' dark-ambient stuff. While SM often features a distinctive minimalistic approach, it's very lively, organic at the same time - breathing the air and warmth of early german electro-pioneers like Harmonia. If you are into truly atmospheric ambiences, get your own copy!
> LISTEN to an excerpt of Docking at Goth Pool from Spaceship Mooch's album Gothic Ships.

[by the way: Gothic Ships are still awaiting a 'proper release' - i.e. looking for a record company ready to release them. In case of interest, follow the links below.]

But DF is still also pursuing solo-paths, on which he explores some strange ambiences. Here you can listen to a Falcone solo-track, which sounds even more minimalistic than the Spaceship Mooch material:
> LISTEN to an excerpt of An Isolated Craft from the compilation 'Where Stalks the Sandman' - indeed easy to imagine a lonely/forgotton (space)craft, hovering inmid-space, beeping out it's sound signals...

Still...that'S not all... - Other collaborations and releases with Daevid Allen (GONG) and Thom the World Poet are under way, various releases of former productions on the Mellow Records label, two new SPIRITS BURNING albums are in Falcone's mind / making.

However, the most interesting announcement in terms of upcoming activities / releases may very well be this one:

"Austin resident Mike Moorcock is now aboard for the same CD. A couple of lost tracks from the Deep Fix days will be resurrected with new instruments and additional parts. Expect to hear Mike singing about "Gloriana" and "Entropy Tango" characters."

This, at least for myself, are truly great news. Those who already have read the pages on the Moorcock-Calvert connection, will know how much I value the demo-recordings, that Mike Moorcock did with Pete Pavli, based mainly on MM's GLORIANA and THE ENTROPY TANGO novels. And just when I was putting the final lines on the Moorcock pages, uttering my hope that someone FINALLY should take care of these unsung gems, I received these news from Mr. Falcone.
So, together with all his other projects, there's pretty much to look forward too.

Don Falcone - what's it all about...(photo by Karen Anderson)

Considering the ever-broadening musical horizons of DF, it seems best to include a brief overview of his full-length CD-releases here:

Spirits Burning: "Found In Nature" Mellow Records, 2004
Quiet Celebration: "Sequel" Mellow Records, 2004
Fireclan: "Sunrise to Sunset" Noh Poetry, 2004
Spirits Burning: "Reflections In A Radio Shower" Gazul, 2001
Quiet Celebration - Gazul Records and Noh Poetry, 2000
Spaceship Eyes: "Of Cosmic Repercussions" Hypnotic, 2000
Spirits Burning: "New Worlds By Design" Gazul, 1999
Spaceship Eyes: "Truth In The Eyes Of A Spaceship" Hypnotic, 1998
Trap: "Beyond The Status Quo" Gazul, 1997
Spaceship Eyes: "Kamarupa" Noh Poetry, 1997
Spice Barons: "Future Perfect State" Silent, 1995
U.F.A.: "Unidentified Floating Ambience" Silent, 1994
Melting Euphoria: "Through The Strands Of Time"
Stratospheric, 1994
Thessalonians: "Soulcraft" Silent, 1993

All records mentioned above can be obtained via

More infos on Don Falcone's work and the releases of the
label can be found via the links below.

[ original photos of D.F. by Karen Anderson ]

LINKS - More on : Don Falcone / Spirits Burning et al

  • Here you can read Don Falcone's essay: Robert Calvert, Art Hero and Inventor - especially written for this site!

  • The NOH POETRY RECORDS homepage - the label run by Karen Anderson and DF - the main source for informations on all of Falcone's projects - and the place where you can order your own copy!

  • infos on SPIRITS BURNING - the crew(s), releases a.m.

  • Here you find the complete DISCOGRAPHY of Don Falcone