Bioni Samp, Electronic Journey To Avebury, 20 mins, 2013
(Live sound track performed onboard the MS Stubnitz as part of MusicHackship March 2013)
Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, located around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, UK. Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain. The ‘Journey To Avebury’ part of the title comes from a rare Super 8 film, A Journey to Avebury (1971), by the acclaimed English film director Derek Jarman (1942-1994), documenting a summer visit to the stone circles in the early 1970s. Electronic Journey To Avebury retreads this path forty years later, in winter. Through processed video and sonification of electromagnetic fields, it reveals a hidden message among the stones.
The following instruments played by Bioni Samp were used for the recording:
Binaural Beefame EMF Detector
Baby Bee Synth
Hive Synthesiser (6 osc. prototype)
Honey Viscosity Synth
+ Allen & Heath mixer.
This is how the artist described the process involved in producing this unusual remediated image and sound piece:
To make the video and audio for ‘Electronic Journey To Avebury’, I went to Avebury stone circles with my Binaural Beeframe EMF Detector (2012), Hive Tool Resonance Detector (2012) and video camera. I was hoping to hear something interesting. I was wondering if the stones were perhaps magnetic or had ley-lines between them which could be followed. Readings of electromagnetic radiation and transmitted resonance were recorded from and around the stones, forming part of the soundtrack. The soundtrack was then mixed with my Hive Synthesiser and other home-made instruments. My Hive Synthesiser attempts to create a symbiotic frequency relationship, like those between pollination and nectar exchanges, or between beekeeper and bees.
In each honey bee colony there are three types of bee: drone, worker and queen bees. Each of these have their own individual frequencies in the following ranges: low – 200 Hz or less, mid – 200-400 Hz, and high – 400+ Hz, just like the earth has its own special frequency of approximately 9 Hz. Bee frequencies are created by modular oscillators sensing light. Electronic bees are carefully guided over the Hive Synthesiser interface to electronic flowers. Numerology of bees and beehive habitat patterns, hive logs and cycles are used as circuit starting points. Known for its calming effect upon the beehive colony, The Electronic Beesmoker acts as a modified breath controller.
The aim of this project was to learn more about bee frequencies and to create a work that would raise awareness about bees and their increasingly fragile ecosystem.
Bioni Samp is an artist, producer and video maker originally from Leeds, Yorkshire. He currently resides in London. He creates experimental electronic music, live and on recordings. He also seasonally works with bees. When not beekeeping, he makes custom audio software and hardware, which he uses in creating his music. Bioni Samp has been publishing his work since 1995 and has had releases on various labels: Aconito, EMIT (UK) Harthouse (DE) Philtre/Kompakt, Instinct, Minimalizm (USA) and Noise Music (BR).