"The work is a dramatic, experimental journey into sound and a creative commentary on the anthropogenic era."
This is probably the first 'interspecies' collaboration you'll see. Dance Of The Bee starts with the amplified hum of bees inside a hive coming from the middle of the room. The lights are slowly brought up to reveal a chorus of singers from the Astra Choir, then three grand pianos begin a four-part piece composed by Martin Friedel.
Lead pianist Michael Kieran Harvey brings the piece to life, beginning with light, melodic tinkering reminiscent of Flight Of The Bumblebee, barely touching the keys.
As the set moves into Imitation And Elaboration and especially Transition From Darkness To Light, the voices of Astra become more haunting, the playing becoming purposefully discordant and chaotic before it reaches a resolve. All the while, you're staring at a live video stream of the beehive, watching hundreds of bees vie for space.
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At times it feels as if you're watching a monumental accompaniment to a post-apocalyptic film. The work is a dramatic, experimental journey into sound and a creative commentary on the anthropogenic era.
Harvey introduces the namesake pieces with a slew of other titles, some of which are being played for the first time. The evening as a whole is executed in a genuinely original way, provoking much broader questions about globalisation, consumption and the human impact on life on the earth.