Beekeepers normally use their colonies to make honey, beeswax, pollen and to provide starter hives to their fellow apairists, but beekeeper Bioni Samp does something unusual with his bees- he records their noises and makes synth music.
Samp uses recordings taken from the hives to create minimal synth music he feels represents the life pulse of the bees:
He records and analyzes the frequencies of his bees, such as the soothing “songs” queen bees chirp to their hives, and uses them in his compositions. He wields a hive frame “scanner” to pick up electromagnetic smog and sticks electrodes in his homegrown honey to reap its rich, viscous sound.
Samp’s gear is part function, part symbolic. For example, one of his setups has three oscillators, representing the hierarchy of a hive: one for the workers, one for the drones, one for the queen. Some of his other bizarre, original instrument creations include the Electronic Beesmoker, BeeVerb, BFX, and the Binaural Beeframe.
“If I went around with a Greenpeace badge on and started shouting about deforestation, people quickly tire of that, it doesn't really connect with people,” Samp says over video chat. “So I worked around the idea of presenting something that's got an underlying ecological message, but it's put over in a way which interest geeks and people interested in electronic music and computing.”
His art and sound installations have travelled across the globe, performing at environmentally-conscious festivals and art galleries as far flung as Slovakia, Poland, Canada, Austria, and others.