What makes a Steamdrone?

The Steamdrone (& friends)

The Steamdrone (& friends)

It is to our great chagrin that the beast that is the steamdrone is powered on the inside by electronics. It was long the intention that it be actually coal powered, but producing a reliable, let alone useful sound proved elusive, so we shelved that particular avenue of research for a while.

For those of you that haven’t had the fortune to hear the cursed thing, let me describe what it sounds like. The sound of the Steamdrone is a cross between…

The pedals on a Wurlitzer organ...

The pedals on a Wurlitzer organ...


A harmonium...

A harmonium...

A hurdy gurdy...

A hurdy gurdy...


And me playing a long bugle...

And me playing a bugle...

...at the bottom of a big staircase!

...at the bottom of a long staircase!

These sounds are all magically combined via Ableton Live, and brought forth on command via one of these:

The Sacred Alesis, touched only by The Engineer and his apprentice

The Sacred Alesis, touched only by The Engineer and his apprentice

And I was going to post an MP3 of how it sounds, but The Engineer appears to have gone to bed without sending it to me, so you shall have to wait until tomorrow for that.

Fear not though, coal boiler experiments ARE continuing, and one day we’ll have a fully functioning acoustic steamdrone for your delight and delectation…


5 Responses to “What makes a Steamdrone?”

  1. Hi.
    I liked your site, your songs, the costumes – it’s great!
    I make a site about steampunk in Russian. I want to make a separate section about your group and place it translated into Russian language article from your blog. Naturally, with links to the original. What you think about it?

    Sorry for my English. At the Russian language, I translate better. %)

  2. Anthony T Says:


    I don’t see any reason your equipment can’t be electric and coal (steam) powered at the same time. A steam engine could turn a generator to produce electricity for all your electronics on stage. That’s how the rest of us get our power unless we live near a nuclear facility or wind farm, but in your case having the steam engine on stage would give the audience something cool to look at. You might even have your engineer character shovel some coal into the thing between songs. ;-)

    • Ed Saperia Says:

      That’s an interesting idea.

      Might be difficult to get 240V AC though…

      We’ll look into it as an alternative.

  3. Accuser Says:


    It was about a minute and thirty seconds into my first listen of The Doctor’s Wife that I decided I needed to get more people into this music. I figure you’ll produce more if you receive more encouragement.

    Thus, I invite you to visit this thread I started on Warren Ellis’ site, where your music is being unanimously praised: http://freakangels.com/whitechapel/?CategoryID=14

  4. Thanks Accuser,

    I’m glad you like our music – you’ll be pleased to know that we’re working hard on following up with many more tracks. These first two were put together in rather a rush, but we didn’t want to have to hurry the rest.

    I’ve applied for an account on the site… no reply yet…

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