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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
Salmon - from the cd 'Quiet
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.
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
(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
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.
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
DOWN A DIAMOND MINE
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
RISE, which is part of Daze of the Underground,
a Hawkwind tribute album, released by Godreah
LISTEN to Spirits
Burning version of HIGH
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
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
Sunrise - from the cd 'Sunrise to
(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
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
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:
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
ever-broadening musical horizons of DF, it seems best to include a brief
overview of his full-length CD-releases here:
In Nature" Mellow Records, 2004
Quiet Celebration: "Sequel" Mellow
Fireclan: "Sunrise to Sunset"
Noh Poetry, 2004
Spirits Burning: "Reflections In A
Radio Shower" Gazul, 2001
Quiet Celebration - Gazul Records and Noh
Spaceship Eyes: "Of Cosmic Repercussions"
Spirits Burning: "New Worlds By Design"
Spaceship Eyes: "Truth In The Eyes
Of A Spaceship" Hypnotic, 1998
Trap: "Beyond The Status Quo"
Spaceship Eyes: "Kamarupa" Noh
Spice Barons: "Future Perfect State"
U.F.A.: "Unidentified Floating Ambience"
Melting Euphoria: "Through The Strands
Thessalonians: "Soulcraft" Silent,
records mentioned above can be obtained via
NOH POETRY RECORDS.
More infos on Don Falcone's work and the
releases of the
NOH POETRY label can be found via the links below.
[ original photos of D.F. by Karen
- More on :
Falcone / Spirits Burning et al
- Here you can
read Don Falcone's essay: Robert
Calvert, Art Hero and Inventor - especially written for
- 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