Bee strings

Sound installation

Duration: 10min

Bee strings explores the tiny, rapid movements of bee wings with layered recordings of bowed viloin strings.


To make wing beats tangible, Etienne-Jules Marey held insects in forceps and used their wings as cutting styluses, tracing vibrations onto rotating cylinders coated in lamp black: a mechanism employed by early sound recording devices.


200 years earlier, Robert Hooke proposed tuning violins to the sound of bees in order to grasp the frequency of their wingbeats. Following his logic, if we know the rate at which musical strings vibrate, we can infer that a bee sounding a low G# beats it’s wings just over 200 times per second. And we can feel the tremors in our teeth as we play.


Arranged for 4 speakers.

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Bee strings

Sound installation

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Audio