Cambridge-based The Guardian and VICE contributing writer Harry Sword has released his first book. Monolithic Undertow, published by White Rabbit Books on February 18th, is his in-depth look at drone music, and the drone continuum from ancient philosophy. Sword believes the drone concept “captures us from birth, right from the womb.”
“The idea of the drone as a singular force—the singular force—runs through philosophy, mathematics and theology like a gilded sonic thread,” Sword writes in Monolithic Undertow. “Take string theory. The theory of (almost) everything. In short: all universal matter is made up of infinitesimally minuscule vibrating strings. The Large Hadron Collider, Paul McCartney, a wooden chair—drill down far enough… it’s all vibration.”
Beyond music, the book explores the need for human transcendence through sound and the use of the drone as a tool for personal liberation: a sound that can simultaneously instill dread and deliver warmth and comfort. Monolithic Undertow features from artists such as Alice Coltrane, Ravi Shankar, Sarah Davachi, among others
Harry Sword’s Monolithic Undertow is out now via White Rabbit Books, and can be found at this link.