img_7756Been away, enjoying the tail-end of a British summer, hence the lack of posts here for the past 6 weeks. On a visit to Kew Gardens in London a week ago The Hive caught my attention and imagination. The installation seen above incorporates a surround sound ambient drone connected to the activity in the nearby beehives.

The Hive is a structure inspired by scientific research into the health of bees. Designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress, it was originally created as the centre-piece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. The music on the Soundcloud link following the video  below is from an album recorded to accompany The Hive at the expo.

The music below is not the same as the ambient drone you hear in The Hive installation, but it uses some of the same sounds and drones. Standing inside (or nearby) The Hive is a unique experience, and highly recommended to lovers of drone, ambient and experimental music, as well as lovers of bees.

“This four-track album imagines the sound of British summertime as heard by one of the most important members of the animal kingdom – the bee. A hypnotic conceptualisation of the life, work and living environment of the bee, “One” is a truly transcendental record – think Spacemen 3 recording a series of 21st century outdoor ragas for Touch Records and you’re somewhere in the right direction.”

“One” features Jason Pierce (Spiritualized) and Aniima – the string section who record with Sigur Ros – along with several other musicians. There’s a more detailed description if you click through to the Caught by the River Soundcloud.