The heart of Bee-Sharp Honeybee stems from community, social impact, and how we as humans are intrinsically linked to the land and affected by environmental concerns, with the objective of engaging with, educating, and raising public awareness of bee culture, bee research, and the importance of pollinators to human survival.
The project began working in collaboration with hobby beekeepers, scientists and researchers, musicians, animators, and a filmmaker, with an immersion in field recordings, spectrograms, and frequency graphs. Musical starting points grew from the technical data and after extensive development, Bee-Sharp Honeybee gradually emerged. The initial score was a collection of hand-illustrated graphic music sketches, featuring intricate rhythm and pitch patterns of the bee buzz, the “waggle dance,” and was based on the way a beehive functions (the main objective was that the musicians read directly from the score, encouraging them to interact, listen carefully, experiment with pitch and texture possibilities, and engage with more eye contact). The final score and parts were developed on manuscript for ease of the overall live performance production.
An award winning short documentary of the-making-of Bee-Sharp Honeybee, directed by Deacon Warner (United States), toured international film festivals during 2018-2019, and the world premiere live performance of the work garnered Rae Howell a finalist in the 2020 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards in Australia.
Bee-Sharp Honeybee is directed by Howell, with live performance projections by CJ. Bees by Mother Nature.
Produced by Sunwrae, Bee-Sharp Honeybee has been supported by Creative Victoria, APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund, The Finzi Trust, The Eric Stokes Trust, The Pollination Project, and a large cohort of Sunwrae Subscribers. With thanks to UMN Bee Research Lab, The Bee Squad, Deacon Warner, Jenny Warner, Film North, Kurt Weimer, Celia and Ron Wirth, Ex Ponto Productions, Little Projector Company, Phoebe Green, Zac Johnston, The Nati Bee Man, and BUUKAAR WAARUUNG Boutique Apiary.