In 2014, I was invited by international music and arts organization, Aldeburgh Music www.aldeburghmusic.co.uk to participate in its annual visual art exhibition SNAP: www.snapaldeburgh.co.uk. This resulted in the development of a new piece of work, Bee Composed: a piano and a hive of bees, which was funded by Arts Council England.
The basic premise of Bee Composed was to create a new work that helped raise the profile of the diminishing numbers of bees and the predicted catastrophic global ‘fall out’ of this decline.
Working with two redundant pianos in different locations, I converted Piano 1 into a working beehive. Using the live footage and sounds harvested from this piano, I then fabricated Piano 2, which, set in a planted bee garden at SNAP, ‘played’ an original composition devised with the sounds made by the bees in Piano 1. It additionally provided a live Skype link to Piano 1 via one of the honeycomb domes, thus allowing the public to view the hive remotely.
Over a period of three months 10,000+ people interacted with Piano 2. I also ran a series of planting, music and dance workshops with local school children alerting them to the threat to the bees.