2023 Year in Review

The return of DRONE, the return of SoundScape, the most heavily attended Farm & Flea on record, and our largest ever dance party – these are just some of the tremendous things Basilica Hudson was able to accomplish in 2023. Thank you for being a vital part of it, whether you attended an event in person, found a way to support our efforts through donations, sponsorship, or our Patreon, or simply watched the proceedings and rooted from a distance. It was a banner year, as you’ll see.

Sometimes the biggest swings and the most crucial efforts can go unseen. Though so much work and imagination went into our Net Zero Campus Renovation project last year, you may not have even noticed these improvements. Yet the concrete floor, newly poured in April of 2023, now keeps the space cozy and habitable with efficient, solar-powered, radiant heat. New air conditioners, freshly mounted throughout the spaces of the Main Hall, similarly make it more humanly possible to gather in the summer. Underlying every huge gathering in 2023 were our efforts to make the space better: a greener, more usable, more beautiful restoration of a 19th-century factory, all part of the BASILICA GREEN initiative.

Gigs & Parties

photo by Peter Galgani
photo by Peter Galgani

The season began with what might be our most ambitious annual program: 24-HOUR DRONE. Equal parts challenging and transcendent, 24-HOUR DRONE throws down a sonic gauntlet and rewards the patient and resilient listener with revelations of sound in a totally unique performance environment.

In 2023 we featured performances by local talents, revered legends, an entire gamelan ensemble, and the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Raven Chacon, pictured above during a marathon 3-hour late night endurance set that was transcendentally confrontational. Photay, Celia Hollander, Laraaji, and Arji OceAnanda also played a set together, their first ever collaboration. You can read a more thorough recap here.

(by the way DRONE returns in 2024 on May 18th – tickets are on sale now)

In June the famous and patriotic Hudson Flag Day parade once again made its way down Front Street and so there was only one possible response: (FREAK) Flag Day, an all-ages gothwave counterparty featuring unstoppable dance party sets by xMAdMx, Scotia, and DJ Lavish. We fogged it out and raged all night in the newly refurbished West Wing Bar and had the absolutely best possible view of the town’s truly epic fireworks display, set off right in Basilica’s parking lot.

photo by Peter Galgani
photo by Peter Galgani

Thursdays belong to Jupiter. In the spirit of cosmic abundance and expansion, we once again spent our summer presenting Jupiter Nights, an intimate concert series in our Gallery Building. Taking place among the brick and art on the walls, these shows are special and despite taking place in a smaller building they feel just as grand as anything that happens in the Main Hall. Plus, we make a point to offer extremely good food every time there’s a show. Curated broadly by musician Allison Young, 2023’s series featured everything from the ethereal trombone clouds of Kalia Vandever to the data crunched rock of Water From Your Eyes and the visceral outre gestures of Neti-Neti, the duo of vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and percussionist Matt Evans. Songwriter Emily Ritz, pictured above, closed out the series.

photo by Ben Seretan

Expanding on the tremendous T4T LUV NRG party that went down in 2022, Basilica and the Bunker teamed up once again last July for a classic, sweaty, packed, laser lit rave in the Main Hall (with a chill-out room in the Gallery, of course). The DJs, the sound techs, and the lighting designers completely transformed the space and took all of us dancers to another planet (see the photo above). Is there anything more beautiful than hazer escaping from the doors of the foundry as dawn breaks over the Hudson?

photo by Peter Galgani
photo by Peter Galgani

Along with 24-HOUR DRONE, Basilica is probably best known for the ambitious weekend of art and music known as SoundScape. And though 2023’s iteration of the revered festival took place over the course of only one day, the event was no less crammed full of unbelievable music, visual art, dancing, used books, food, curios, and other delights. The North Hall featured a pop-up version of Dan Bunny’s Warren Street staple John Doe Records with open mic performances from a barrage of visionaries. The Gallery featured the colorful pop art and bonafide rock star personage of Niagara Detroit, curated by the New Gallery. The West Wing featured both an opening invocation by Zannie and a slamming afterparty organized by Audiofemme and DJ’d by Alima Lee. And the Main Hall barely contained a blistering set by Irreversible Entanglements, a grandly moving performance by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and readings in the rafters – one of this festival’s most unique offerings – by Shanekia McIntosh and Hanif Abdurraqib, pictured above.

photo by Peter Galgani

Ethel Cain easily wins the record for almost instantaneously selling out a gig at Basilica – we have never before experienced such a demand for a performer! Her anthemic, soaring, dark Americana epics nourished a young, yearning, enthusiastic crowd, many who traveled a long distance to simply be in the same room as her. Also featuring a special opening set from Skullcrusher, this gig was certainly one for the books and we thank our collaborators at the Bowery Presents for putting together this vividly coveted concert.

photo by Peter Galgani

Following the hugely successful Stereolab gig we teamed up for in 2022, Chosen Family once again brought an enormous rock ‘n’ roll spectacle to the Main Hall: legendary Britpop spacemen Spiritualized, a band that needs no openers. Packed house, towering guitars, two straight hours of music, a lighting rig that could probably give the band a sunburn, plus gospel choir backup singers – what more could you want in a gig?

Film / Moving Image

During the big shutdown of 2020, the band Buke & Gase refused to stay quiet. Instead, they set up a barrage of microphones and their homemade instruments in our giant, empty space and cut a ferociously powerful live recording of soaring melodies, off-kilter rhythms, and joyful string noise. In 2023 we had the sweet opportunity to finally host a free screening of the resulting documentary – and yes, we played it LOUD! It should be mentioned that the doc is currently available for on-demand viewing.

We also hosted screenings from the inaugural year of the Hudson Film Festival, an exciting new weekend summer series bringing a wide range of new names, festival favorites, and films you couldn’t otherwise see in a theater in the Hudson Valley. Highlights included a documentary on scholastic mariachi and a campy, gnarly, horror film, plus dazzling shorts. Their second year of programming will take place the weekend of August 9th – stay tuned!

photo by Jess Chappe

Though the work of Anita Glesta does involve projected moving images, her work is deliciously neither film nor sculpture and we were delighted to feature a show of her work across the entire Main Hall curated by Jessica Wallen. Hung from the rafters, installed beyond the sliding blast door of an old factory kiln, and spilling out from the cinema screen, Glesta’s uncanny representative meditations on bodies and anxiety engendered an uncannily beautiful unease.

And though we weren’t able to host the Climate Action Film Festival in 2023 (due to our ongoing renovations toward a net zero campus), we were enthusiastic partners in its screening at Hudson Hall. It was incredible to see so many people show up on behalf of the planet!

Gallery

photo by Peter Galgani

The Gallery overflowed with ambitious presentations of visual art this year.

During Jupiter Nights, we showed sumptuous painting works in progress by Bei Ni and a typewriter-and-lace heavy installation by Alex Patrick Dyck (the result of a monthlong residency on site).

In the Fall, Basilica hosted the New Gallery as guest curators. They presented an entirely new show each month from September through November (a truly impressive feat!), including a survey of the works of Iranian street artist Mizra Hamid, a fantastic group show featuring graffiti legend Crash, and an impressively rock ‘n’ roll solo show of works by musician and painter Niagara Detroit, pictured above.

Farm & Flea

photo by Luca Pearl

Though our extensive construction work meant that we were unable to host a Spring iteration of Basilica Farm & Flea in 2023, you all came out for local business in a big way for the 10th anniversary Holiday Market over Thanksgiving Weekend – our largest attendance to date! Record sales all around on tickets, food, and goods. With over 90 cheerful vendors from our community, the Main Hall took on a festive, warm, communal air – friendly chatter mingled with the smells of tooled leather, vintage clothes, dried flowers, and freshly cooked food for a totally charming atmosphere. We thank the team at LikeMindedObjects for curating and organizing such a wonderful event!

Family Events

photo Andi State Photography

Though we like to think that every event at Basilica – with perhaps the exception of all night parties – are open to people of all ages and friendly to families of all configurations, some of our programming is more geared toward education, community engagement, and fun for kids. Two events we hosted this year were particularly successful in getting out the youth. In October, all manner of ghosts, ghoulies, and goblins made the long rainy walk down Warren Street for a culminating costume contest as part of the Hudson Halloween Parade and a spooky, amazing time was had by all. Then, in the run up to the Farm & Flea Holiday Market, we collaborated with Shaker Museum and LikeMindedObjects on an incredible and inclusive textile reuse workshop and panel, an event that combined ecological fashion practice, knowledge sharing, and local history for a uniquely enriching night. Finally, to round out the year, Basilica loaned its space to the Hawthorne Valley School for their winter concert – an incredibly sweet (and well attended!) night of music.

As you join us in reflecting on Basilica Hudson’s year of programming, we hope you can feel a sense of price: truly none of this would be possible without our artists, supporters, audience members, individual donors, community partners, and generous sponsors. What we’re able to accomplish in this eco-friendly factory is truly a group effort, a communal lift, and we hope you’ll join us again in 2024.

Many thanks to the individual donors and Patreon subscribers that made this 2023 season possible.

Partners: Chosen Family, the Bunker NY, the New Gallery, the Creative Independent, LikeMindedObjects, Sarah Van Buren, Le Guess Who?, Second Ward Foundation, Allison Young, Shaker Museum, Hudson Film Festival, Hudson Halloween Parade, Hawthorne Valley School, Scenic Hudson, Bowery Presents, WGXC

Sponsors: SunCommon, Kneller Insurance Agency, Hover Foundation, Hudson Valley Ceremonies, Black Diamond Bookkeeping, the Wick, Hudson Roastery, Wylde Hudson, Gotham Dispensary, Williams Lumber & Home Centers, Stewart’s Shops, Wm. Farmer & Sons, Bank of Greene County

Basilica Hudson’s 2023 season programming was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

24-HOUR DRONE 2023: Recap & Highlights

DRONE happened later in the year than usual – ongoing renovations and general eco-friendly improvements of Basilica’s 19th-century foundry meant that the DRONE took place in May instead of the usual April. Longtime DRONErs may have noticed that the sun angled differently or that the dark of night was more brief. Perhaps it was due in fact to having returned to an in-person gathering, maybe it was the Spring’s full bloom, but this DRONE felt sunnier, warmer, lighter, more shiny and optimistic – from the moment Gamelan Dharma Swara clanged their first gong, it was clear that something wonderful was unfolding.

24 HOUR DRONE 2023 in under four minutes – footage captured by Peter Galgani

But that isn’t to say that there wasn’t darkness – the brightness of the day caused the night to glower and there were moments during the evening’s more intense nighttime performances when all the collective grief and outrage we’ve shared over the last four years bubbled up unbidden. The goodness of this gathering couldn’t help but point out all the other good times and good people we’ve lost.

There was also an interesting change in formatting this year – the lineup featured four three-hour-long “endurance sets” which gave the DRONE a new topography. Hour-long sets began to feel almost brief, time warped, and we all enjoyed stretching all the way out during the longer performances.

And though every DRONE is unique, this one felt particularly resonant. A sense of return, a sense of relief, a gladness to be back on the concrete floor all together.

The Fader published two in-depth pieces about this year’s DRONE, featuring interviews, photography, and highlights with the artists, staff, and curators:

Transcending Time with the artists of 24-HOUR DRONE

&

Melissa Auf der Maur passes “the baton of sound” at 24-HOUR DRONE

And due to a truly heroic 24-hour documentation effort by photographer Peter Galgani, we are blessed with really nice images of every single set. In order:

Gamelan Dharma Swara began the DRONE with a beautiful clanging: traditional Balinese dance, gongs, and chimes that ricocheted through the space

gushes (fka WSABI) ceremonially adorned the DRONE with beetroot blood and flying flower petals.

Drone reflects the pacing of the earth & cosmos~ the monumental shifting of tectonic plates, tree growth, fossil records, rain & tidal oscillation carving mountains & coastlines, plant & animal evolution, glacial melt & climate change, the formation of moons, the emblazoned long delay harbinger of star death, rhizomatic contrapuntal weaving, polyrhythms across simultaneous orbital dances of celestial bodies from which emerge seasons…

Drone’s format, space, season, lunar phase & people inspired gushes’ drone score to sound & embody our astronomical & bio-mythological take on the sun, moon & earth triangulation, as represented by 3 bodies playing 3 drums…

If we move, breathe, play, & listen more like a landscape, melting the factory clock, our hearts could expand in spiritual compassion to the greater story around us, which is animated by nuance and constant transformation. This is what I’m INTO. 

gushes

Michael Foster & Luke Stewart’s duo daringly expanded what seems possible with saxophones and upright bass, coaxing unearthly sounds out of their instruments

Veena & Devesh Chandra – two masters of Indian Classical music – gorgeously realized one of the oldest and most ornate musicological forms of DRONE.

Then, Sarah Hennies – a composer / percussionist who for this performance manipulated a small orchestra of hanging gongs – and Tristan Kasten-Krause – an upright bassist with an uncanny ability to surreally sustain tones with a nominally acoustic instrument – performed in a new format, a study in gesture.

Following their set, we were blessed by an hour in the presence of eucademix aka Yuka C. Honda, a “decomposer” whose vivid collection of sounds perfectly brought to mind the image of light dancing and reflecting on moving water.

The first marathon set of DRONE surrounded a glorious sunset which many DRONErs stood to watch through our south windows. The first of two first-time-ever quartets performing and this one color-coordinated – at the orange table, Laraaji + Arji OceAnanda. At the blue table, Photay + Celia Hollander. The last rays of the day stretched across the concrete as their samples, zithers, singing voices, and water being poured in front of a microphone unfolded.

Marathon events like 24-hour drone are a gateway into listening deeply and differently. It’s the combination of listening with others in community and long durational sound that brings about a new sensation. A heightened presence and awareness that has left me beaming! 

Photay

Then, the first true nighttime set, when darkness becomes palpable and the boundaries of sound grow larger. Liturgy (performing a rare solo set) conjured a pummeling & transcendental wall of guitar while joined by the ecstatic movements of special guest Davon.

Laura Ortman took hold of the DRONE next for a cathartic violin, electronics, & megaphone set that was powerful, loud, and literally dazzling as a spotlight reflected off her sequins.

Wolf Eyes – long-standing weirdo luminaries of the noise music world – played a more subdued, syrupy, haunting set that bended time around their tables full of electronics.

Raven Chacon played the second endurance set of DRONE, harnessing a massive midnight energy that ranged from the most delicate of homebrew electronic gestures to the loudest, most embodied wall of noise of the entire event – a deeply cathartic crecsendo that, amazingly, many people slept through.

As musicians, our medium is time. Sometimes it is the only thing we are truly working with. Time, realized as music, shows us where we are in the long window of the universe. But to play or hear only long tones, or endless loops, reminds you that you have always existed.

Raven Chacon

In the deepest depths of the night Kelman Duran infiltrated the dreams of the DRONErs in a set filled with the haunts, rhythms, and spirits of a million forgotten parties – the melted sounds of a club down the block.

From the depths of dark straight through to the full brilliance of morning, C. Lavender unfurled a sunrise incantation during the third endurance set of DRONE. Rolled gongs and incantations, a brilliant dawn chorus.

With so much of our time dictated moment by moment in our society, immersing ourselves into live sustained music creates a portal to transcend time. In a sonic liminal space we’re able to better access moments of emotional freedom and reflection. As a sound healing practitioner and experimental musician, I’ve explored expansive sonic realms for many years and have experienced first-hand with varied audiences how durational listening can bring about healing, inspiration, and a renewed sense of connectedness to our inner and outer worlds. From a performer’s perspective, I love the sensation of giving musical ideas room to unfold in an unhurried manner; it feels liberating to improvise in the moment not only on where I want to take the music, but where it wants to take me and the audience as well. Getting into that kind of a creative flow is less viable in many typical concert settings.

C. Lavender

As dawn gave way, the Evans Saxl Seretan Thayer Quartet quite literally said good morning to everyone in a delightful hourlong set that included violin, many electronics, double congas, shaking bamboo leaves and, of all things, a bubble machine, seen here in the photo.

The final endurance set of the featured one of the most delicate gestures of the entire 24 hours – gently amplified rocks clicked together in the palm of the hand (seen in the photo!). Fujiiiiiiiiiiita’s set brought to mind the eerie and serene calm of standing alone in a vast forest and guided our collective attention toward the delicate, hand-pumped bellows of his pipe organ.

It was full of love, wonder, and an ephemeral, magical quality that I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced before. Fujiiiiiiita, himself, was the embodiment of grace and his sounds were sublime. But, I’ll also attribute it to the cumulative effect of continuous mass listening. There was a subtle attention to sound in the space, a subtle reverence for it. I noticed that people spoke very little and when they did, they whispered quietly. I think that might have been what united the diverse crowd that had become a shared resonance body—a love for listening, a love for the possibilities in the manipulation of sound outside the boundaries of the purely functional. I left feeling lighter, quieter, and more orderly inside—like my auditory and aural channels had been cleansed.

Schuyler Brown, the Art of Emergence

The final hour of the DRONE focused on collectively heard music’s power to heal. With a table full of singing bowls, Nea Mckinney drew our focus with crystalline ringing and the gentlest of tabletop chimes.

Anneice Cousin – in a powerful, vocal-forward, beat-heavy set – invited catharsis with her deeply felt performance.

And in a grand, final act, Lisa B. Kelley led the collected DRONErs in a collective performance of Pauline Oliveros’ “the Heart Chant,” an almost indescribable communal happening that left the room stunned.

The continual collective experience through dreamtime allows us to tap into the deepest levels of human connection consciously and subconsciously. 

Lisa B. Kelley

When the humming comes to a natural halt, I hear the music that hides in silence as much as I did in the sound that rang for nearly 24 hours before.

Vanessa Ague, the Wire

A long and wild cycle of the sun. Thank you for joining us. 24-HOUR DRONE will return in April of 2024.

THANK YOU TO OUR STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

Melissa Auf der Maur

Basilica Hudson Director + Co-Founder

Tony Stone

Basilica Hudson Co-Founder + Construction Manager

DRONE Logistics Team

Sarah Van Buren, 24-HOUR DRONE Co-Curator + Artist Liaison / Staffing Manager

Ben Seretan, Basilica Program + Marketing Manager

Liz Shaw, Interim Operations Manager 

Jeanne Stark, Basilica Industries Rental Coordinator

DRONE Production Team

Roman Horst, Facilities and Setup

Daniel Stout, Technical Director + Stage Manager

Emily Flores, Stage Manager

Matthew Cullen, Audio Engineer: DRONE stage + stage crew

Tyler Wood, Audio Engineer: WGXC livestream + stage crew

John Rosenthal, Event setup + stage crew 

Chad Dziewior, Video setup, tech + design

Walter Sudol, Video setup + tech

Lukas Wheeler, Production Volunteer 

Nick Dixon-Santiago, Production Volunteer

Security – Ancil Dorsey (Head of Security), Makisha Brown, Tom Mignone, Antonio Williams, & Victoria Lowe

Box Office – Michael Rivenburg, Gabriel Korngold, Nkoula Badila, & Sonie Ruscoe

Hospitality – Jamie Jackson & Jeanne Stark

Artist Check-In – Annie Reynolds, Jessica Chappe, & Del Montgomery

Bartenders

Destiny Pierce (Bar Manager), JP Basileo, Susan Humphries, & Kendra McKinley

Merch

Jody Fish, Annie White

Setup, Parking + Clean Up

Abe Etkin, Mounanou Badila, Liam Stark, & Cache Holt

Volunteer Ushers

Cat Tyc, Marcel Reid-Jaques, & Sam Panken

Hudson Valley Safer Spaces Volunteer Monitors

Widow, Kevin Muth, Mike Amari, Rebecca Borrer, David Silberberg, & Dina Percia

Food Vendors

Local 111 – Josephine Proul (Chef), Paul DiMaria, Jenna Limoges, Michael Riozzi, Kadrian Laporte,

Woodland Pantry – Tanya Himeji-Romero (Chef), Jamie Gillespie, Clare Delaney, Toko Harada, Rachel Sanzone

Coptic Light Coffee – Esther Shaw, JR Robinson

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

Thank you to our DRONE supporters, partners and collaborators. This event would not have been possible without your generosity and like-minded spirit:

Le Guess Who?

The Wick Hotel

Wave Farm

Second Ward Foundation

New York State Council on the Arts