sound composition

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CANTUS APIUM (Song of the Bees)
7 variations after Vergil
for voice and  15 bee-colonies
Sound composition by Götz Naleppa
Recordings and composition Götz Naleppa, 2013
Duration 40:12''
Text Publius Vergilius Maro („Vergil“),
Qutations from "Georgica", IV. book,
German transl. by  Joh. Heinrich Voß
My thanks to the bee-keeper Christian Matthey, Westerwaldkreis, Germany


Red thread of this sound composition is the famous text of Roman poet Vergil (70 − 19 BC) about the bees from his „Georgics“. Sound material are recordings from 15 bee-colonies, from morning 7 clock until noon on a sunny May day in a rural region in Germany.
The concept: text citations (Latin and German) with non-manipulated bee sounds, chronologically throughout the day: from early morning (few and isolated), later the lower frequencies when the drone start flying, until noon (numerous and violent). Main parts of the composition are seven musical variations of "Bee Songs" - sound recordings processed and isolated mainly with extreme filters, in order to make audible the "music", the song of the bees. ALL you hear is generated from bee sounds, included the rhythm elements.
The main subject and the challenge was "chaos and structure" : I've been trying to find structures in the chaos of thousands of simultaneous sounds - by filtering out frequencies, discovering rhythmic elements, in order to make patterns and "beauty" audible. The whole piece has thus become one big crescendo - accordingly to the crescendo of bee colonies from morning to noon: in the beginning quiet and "idyllic" in the sense of Vergil and then very slowly increasing up to the "war dances" of the bees.
The piece ends in contemporary times: an allusion to the worldwide threat of dying bees, killed by our civilization - which is a threat for all of us.
(Götz Naleppa)



Cantus Apium wins GOLD AWARD at New York Festivals 2014:   

link to mp3 fileSoundfile 1 (Ausschnitt, mp3-file, 5:10 min, 8,7 MB)
link to mp3 fileSoundfile 2 (Ausschnitt, mp3-file, 1:30 min, 2,5 MB)

link to pdf Text quotations (pdf-file, 64 KB)

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