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Making music from the sound of bees

IMG_0116A recent Sunday day trip to the Cotswolds turned into field recording gold when I visited Cotswold Lavender, which boasts half a dozen or so huge fields of lavender and wild flowers, all thronged by hundreds of bees busy at work. Venturing into the lavender crop, I abandoned my recording device to nature for ten minutes, allowing the bees time to regain their composure and go about their business without me being present. You can hear them regain their confidence in the recording, when they’re relatively distant for the first half, but then start to strafe and whizz closer to the microphone in the second half of the sound.

The remix is made entirely from the original sound of the bees, multi-layered and multi-effected. Initially I tried creating interlacing rhythm tracks with the sounds of individual bees, but even with a lot of solid EQing, there was so much mid-range in the buzzing that the sound just turned into indistinct mid-range mess. So the final version starts off with the sounds of the bees and melts gradually into a more contemplative and droney piece, over which every so often a bee makes its presence felt in a fly-past, just like the occasional close pass the bees make in the original recording.

Photo by Giulia Bee (sorry for the unnecessary pun).

City version:

Memory version: