Patrick Farmer – Apis Mellifera (Organized Music from Thessaloniki, 2009)


Patrick Farmer
Apis Mellifera

CDr Organized Music from Thessaloniki #5 (Greece, 03-2009)

01. Moved to
02. And
03. Fro

Recordings of honey bees made at an Apiary in Harpenden, UK, in 2007.
1: Honey bee recordings played back through metals, drums, surfaces, bottles, rocks
2: Stereo microphone recording
3: Contact microphones attached to the underside of the hives, assemblage

Patrick Farmer is part of the younger generation of musicians blurring the boundaries between the use of ‘pure’ environmental documentation and the direct involvement with natural materials and situations. As a musician he deals with regular or prepared drums, natural objects, phonography, ampilfied drum heads, wood and whisks. He has been curating – together with Sarah Hughes – the Compost & Height music blog and label promoting work focused upon our responses to the surrounding environment and the development of awareness.
While much of Farmer’s recorded work can seem systematic in its presentation, his diversity in approaching sonic material allows him to treat each situation differently, thus staying close to the truer qualities that define each of his subjects. In this recording he presents three views of honey bee hives found at an Apiary in Harpenden, UK. The second track, ‘and’, is a straight stereo recording of bee sounds, ‘fro’ consists of sounds picked up by contact microphones attached under the hives, while ‘moved to’ finds the stereo recordings reprocessed in a way best described by Farmer himself: A process of indirect diffusion that by means of various materials, bass drums-various cymbals-rocks and minimal circumstances, attaches to the original Honeybee recording a sense reflected by other objects. The original inspiration behind this process came from a passage in the book ‘Six memos for the new Millenium’ by Italo Calvino. Whereupon the author sets out to explain the work of the Italian Poet Giacomo Leopardi: ‘For Giacomo Leopardi maintained that the more vague and imprecise language is, the more poetic it becomes. I might mention in passing that as far as I know Italian is the only language in which the word vago (vague) also means ‘lovely, attractive’.’ As our view of the subject is fragmented, the sounds move freely between what is perceived to be presented as musical and in turn non-musical sound. And while it is never unclear what process is employed each time, our ears are free to approach the recorded material in an open-ended manner.
(Organized Music from Thessaloniki)

Patrick Farmer is, along with Sarah Hughes, the founder of the Compost & Height label (and blog!), and presents here a work of recordings of honey bees. In three pieces he uses either stereo microphone recordings, then one with sound processing and one with contact microphones. The release opens with the processed one, in which the recording is picked up through various means, such as cymbals or rocks. This is a pretty curious recording of low humming, drone based sounds, which is quite nice, but also a bit vague in approach. The untreated recording is great, closely miked recording and if you are afraid of bees, it won’t help listening to this. The contact microphone recording holds between the previous two and sounds like a close miked affair too, but more in a mid sound range. Three interesting pieces of field recordings at work here. Three different angles to approach it, and nice to hear. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly)

Ne pas s’y tromper, ici les messages s’enchaînent avec autant de rigueur que les plans d’un film de Godard (il suffit juste de trouver le truc). Ainsi, après les bourdonnements fascinants de RST, voici ceux captés par Patrick Farmer. Un autre transport.

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Un commentaire pour Patrick Farmer – Apis Mellifera (Organized Music from Thessaloniki, 2009)

  1. docteurorlof dit :

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SZ8W5T6I

    (sold out from the label, try their distributors)

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