BE perform One

One is the critically acclaimed soundscape from the multi award winning UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015. The Pavilion sought to highlight the importance of the honey bee in our food chain and their plight as a species.

Sound was a crucial dimension of the UK Pavilion experience. The original concept was to create a soundscape activated by live-streamed signals from a beehive in Nottingham. These signals triggered noise gates at particular thresholds, activating harmonious stems from a pre-recorded library. ‘Be’ is the collective name of the musicians who recorded this along with the UK honey bees.

To create this library, a live feed of beehive sounds was played while the musicians improvised an accompaniment in the key of C. These recordings formed a framework for the main tracks. This resulted in a constantly changing and evolving symphony – a dialogue between bee and human. A series of live shows will recreate the immersive ONE album with a live stream from a beehive in Brackenhurst, Nottinghamshire. An immersive surround sound system and visual projections taken from research produced for academic study will be used, as well as footage of the Bee Cello project at Langar Hall Hotel.

Throughout the soundscape, you will experience:

‘Crackling sounds’  – These are caused by the vibrations of thousands of honey bees working, chewing, shaping and walking on the honeycomb that is transformed into audible sound.

‘Begging signals’  – These are short pulses used by one honey bee to request a sample of food from another. ‘Waggle dance’ This signal comes from a honey bee that has found an exciting source of food in the outside world. It provides information about the path and distance to the food and how much there is.

‘Tooting’ – There can only be one queen in a hive, except for when young virgin queens are born. This signal is a challenge call from a virgin queen honey bee that has already emerged from her cell challenging another unborn queen in a display of strength. ‘

Tooting’ and ‘Quacking’  – This is a vocal exchange between two virgin queens, starting with a ‘toot’ and followed by an exchange of ‘quacks and toots’. The ‘quack’ comes from a virgin queen that is still in her queen cell and is a ‘response’ to the ‘tooting’ made by the virgin queen that is already freed. The vocal exchange can last up to 2-3 days, is thought to be a sizing up exercise, and can sometimes lead to a fight to the death.

Orbit 2016

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