Pestival wins Observer Ethical Award: Conservation

Congratulations to Bridget Nicholls for winning this prestigious award. You can find out more here and see an interview with Bridget here


First Performance

7:30 pm 6th September 2009

Chris Watson curates... Cross Pollination - An Evening of Experimental Insect Music

with performances by:

Philip Jeck

Marcus Davidson & The Bee Choir - The Bee Symphony

As part of this piece Chris Watson multi-channel diffusion his own recordings of bees and also those made by Mike Harding in Kent in May 2009. A story of this recording trip can be found on the Touch Radio website

Maria Jardardottir introduced by Atau Tanaka

There is a feature in The Guardian (4th September 2009) which can be read here and you can hear Chris talking on the BBC World Service here and a blog here. You can hear an interview with Chris Watson on The Strand here.


Touch Radio

12.06.09 - The Act of Being Stung – 08:47

Recorded 10.06.09

Mike Harding was commissioned by The Southbank Centre to record bees for The Bee Symphony, to be performed on Sunday 6th September 2009 at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London as part of Pestival. The Bee Symphony, with music composition by Marcus Davidson (Spire) and bee recordings by Mike Harding diffused by Chris Watson, will be performed at “Cross Pollination – An Evening of Experimental Insect Music”, curated by Chris Watson.

The recordings took place at Cherry Garden Farm, Stelling Minnis in Kent, England. The hives are owned by Olivia Grove on her seven acre small-holding. Also present were Marcus Davidson, who took the photos, and bee expert Mary Hill from Old Wives Lees. You can hear the voices of all four on the episode...

Equipment used includes 2 x dpa 4060 mics, recording onto a Nagra Ares P-ll at 48k 24bit, and of course, a coathanger and bee suit... with thanks to Jane Beese at The Southbank Centre.

You can hear a mix of this recording on WFMU's Do or DIY with People Like Us - June 24, 2009 here


The Bee Symphony

Marcus Davidson - Composition & choirmaster

Marcus Davidson was a chorister at Worcester Cathedral.  He read Music at Birmingham University, studying composition with Vic Hoyland, and later received a masters degree in composition at City University, London, studying with Rhian Samuel. He specialises in playing for Ballet and Contemporary Dance, and is a member of Spire, the Organ-based project by Touch. With  Spire he has composed and performed at the Hardingtonar Festival 2008 (Norway), York Minster in 2007, the Festival of Holland 2006, Fuse Leeds 2006 contemporary music festival, Gas Festival 2005 in Stockholm and La Batie Festival 2004 in Geneva.

Recent compositions include Angelica The Doorkeeper, first performed by the vocal group Voice at St. Ethelburga's Centre, London, April 2010; the sound track to Harvest of Souls and a planetarium film of artist Donald Pass's vision The Resurrection, shown at the Intech Planetarium, Winchester May 2010. He is currently writing a ballet on the theme of the Green Man.

Chris Watson - Recordings & sound diffusion

Christopher Richard Watson was born in Sheffield where he attended Rowlinson School and Stannington College (now part of Sheffield College). In 1971 he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television.

Mike Harding - Recordings & executive production

Curator & Producer; Lecturer & Publisher; Author & Editor; occasional exhibitions/installations/performances…