Glenstal to host world premiere of Song of the Bees

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

THE WET summer made it a very bad year for bees but 2013 is already looking a lot brighter.

THE WET summer made it a very bad year for bees but 2013 is already looking a lot brighter.

Considering the effect of the rainy weather on bees the appropriately titled Softday are behind the science/art collaboration.

The Limerick based duo have just completed a two-year research phase for a new multimedia sound art project entitled Amhran na Beacha (Song of the Bees).

Sean Taylor, of Softday, says the initial concept for the creative project was to connect the life of honeybees and current threats such as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

In 2010, Softday began work in collaboration with Dublin based art curator and apiarist Jenny Haughton, who drew their attention to the global condition of honeybees.

“In our research to date we have involved scientists, environmental activists and beekeepers from Ireland, and abroad to contribute to our knowledge of bees.

“We are currently creating a new musical composition uniquely created from bee related scientific and field recording data gathered during our research phase,” said Sean.

“The life of so many plants and animals on planet Earth are dependent on the existence of bees.

“Humankind has urbanised and commodified both our own lives as well as the bees. We are exploring these issues through music, sound art and multimedia,” he added.

The world premiere of Song of the Bees (Amhran na Beacha) will take place on Saturday, April 27 in Glenstal Abbey, Murroe.

It will feature The Irish Chamber Orchestra, The Softday Apiary Ensemble and the monks of Glenstal.

Not only is it taking place in Glenstal and involves the monks, it will feature the bees of Glenstal apiary.

For over ten years Softday, the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström, have engaged with issues relating to natural cycles in time, climate change and its global effects.

As a collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications and multimedia artworks and performances.

This project is part funded by CREATE, the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland.