HIVE in Isolation

During the 2020 lockdown, HIVE tried every video conferencing software they could get their hands on, but none really had quite the right atmosphere required for the listening and vocal improvisation central to HIVE’s practice. Here are some projects that the group created together whilst in isolation from each other.

Guide to Hand Watching

On March 15th 2020 HIVE were scheduled to perform at Sunflower Public House & Live Music with Handmade Music. It was canceled, and in the subsequent days HIVE were confined to their homes at the start of the 2020 lockdown.

For that show, HIVE had specially prepared some brand new performances. Given the circumstances, they never got the chance to perform these with an audience. One of the unperformed works was Guide to Hand Watching.

Following the canceled concert, the group recorded a performance of Guide to Hand Watching over video web conference (and added some more voices later).

Here are the instructions if you want to sing along:

  • Watch one hand
  • Make a vocal sound when the hands come into contact with the other hand
  • When the hand is more open, make a more open sound (Aah?)
  • When the hand is more closed, make a more closed sound (Ooo, Mmm?)

Voices: Aisling McCormick, Andrew Kenny, Elen Flügge, Eleni Kolliopoulou, Emily DeDakis, Méabh Meir, Nollaig Molloy, Una Lee

Hands: John D’Arcy


It Being in Springtime (Craigie Hill for multiple windows)

One day in April 2020, HIVE singers looked through their windows to the outside and sang a verse of the old Ulster song ‘Craigie Hill’. Together (apart) they recorded our views in the morning. They each sang at our own pace, unaware of each other, before being brought together into a single frame. Some wild chords blossomed.

Voices and windows by Aisling McCormick, Andrew Kenny, Elen Flügge, Eleni Kolliopoulou, Emily DeDakis, John D’Arcy, Méabh Meir, Nollaig Molloy, Una Lee.

If you want to try your own, here’s the lyrics:

It being in the springtime and the small birds were singing.
Down by a shady arbour I carelessly did stray.
The thrushes they were warbling, the violets were charming.
To view two lovers talking, a while I did delay

(if you’re learning the tune try the Dolores Keane version)