Live performance with quadrophonic surround composition, using original audio and image footage of honey bees. Live video animation using hurricane.
On our quest for audio and visual recordings of honey bees, we concentrated on two specific colonies: one wild colony and one domesticated. Through studying our recordings we developed a set of patterns and tunings which form the basis for apidae. We focussed on the idea of being born into a droning hive resonating with very distinct harmonies and pulsing to a common pattern and how that would affect one’s day-to-day life, regardless of standing in the social hierarchy. Each of the pitches, rhythms, and harmonies in apidae have been carefully tuned to resonate with the pulsing droning hive sound.
Inspired by the american avant garde minimalist movement, the techniques explored in apidae leverage intense repetitiveness of simultaneous notes emphasing minute changes in the performance of each individual tone to create an ever evolving collective sound. The synthesis techniques used emphasize the tonality of the hive whilst synchronizing the ‘buzzyness’ which has become synonymous with the sound of bees. The sonic manipulations of the field recordings strive to extract singularity from the collective sound while retaining the integrity and individuality of the ensemble which is the honey bee colony.
Can a honey bee, born into the rigid social structure of the colony and bombarded by the pulsing droning hive sound whilst even just an egg have an individual identity? Can she escape the idée fixe she’s been born into? Or can she improvise her own tune on top of her inherent and endless internal music. These are the questions we explore in our 16 minute ode to the individuality of the interconnectedness of the honey bee colony.
Premiere 14th Sept. 2017, Noise Gate
HeK, Haus der Elektronischen Künste, Basel