HIVE with Words

HIVE use texts found in books, conversations and dark parts of the internet as lyrics for improvised melodies. Here are some of those works:

Wait Till I Tell Ye (2022)

In May 2022 HIVE presented Wait Till I Tell Ye, a series of pop-up performances at Ulster Folk Museum. Wait Till I Tell Ye explored the Tape Recorded Survey of Hiberno English (Irish English) conducted in 1972. HIVE used the original questionnaire to interact with visitors and explore their accents.

HIVE also performed versions of Irish folk songs related to topics, objects and animals addressed in the TRS. These included Paddy Shinnahan’s Cow, Nancy Hogan’s Goose, The Bandy Legged Mule, The Spinning Wheel, and two songs based on the tune The Blind Man Can See (‘Tis Miles I have Rambled, and Marrow Bones).

Ulster Rambles (2017)

Ulster Rambles is a montage of traditional Irish melodies and found texts on themes around walking in Northern Ireland. Texts from Northern Ireland’s Troubles: The Human Costs by Marie-Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey and Marie Smyth; and Ulster Rambles: Fourteen Great Walks on The Ulster Way by Peter Wright.

Ulster Rambles was performed live at the Black Box Belfast, November 2017. A studio recording of Ulster Rambles is featured on Songs and Games.

Playing a Game & Ulster Rambles @ Sonorities 2022

As part of Sonorities Festival Belfast in April 2022, HIVE Choir were featured in the group exhibition of artists from the Quills That Whisper netlabel. HIVE exhibited the scores of Playing a Game (2013) and Ulster Rambles (2017), both featured on the Songs and Games EP.

At the festival launch, HIVE performed Playing a Game live with audience participation, using the score projected on the gallery wall by OHP.

A Sono-Ocular Study (2019)

In February 2019, HIVE presented A Sono-Ocular Study at Sonic Arts Research Centre Belfast. The event was a series of performances and interactive activities informed by acoustic and perceptual phenomena. Songs laced testimonies from online ASMR communities with vocal tone-beating, and ‘nano-studies’ invited audience members to engage with intimate sonic experiences: amplified drawing, binaural-microphone telephony, an ASMR anticipation orchestra, and a complimentary sensory cleanse by Son Zept.

In October 2019, HIVE presented a redux version of Sono-Ocular Study at the Irish Sound, Science & Technology Association annual conference, Cork.

An Array of Micro-Oralities (2019)

In quieting one’s speech, whispering brings breath and word closer together, to rest one on top of the other.”  – Brandon LaBelle, Lexicon of the Mouth.

In An Array of Micro-Oralities, six vocalists from HIVE recite Brandon LaBelle’s description of the act of whispering.

An Array of Micro-Oralities is a 360 video – while you are watching in a headset, try turning your head to catch the whispers over your shoulder. If you are watching in the YouTube player you can click and drag around the screen to look find the vocalists, or if you’re watching in the YouTube app on a mobile device, try rotating your phone to change the angle of view.

Performed by Elen Flügge, Emily Dedakis, Fióna Ní Mhearáin, John D’Arcy, Marty Byrne and Richard Davis.

Directed by John D’Arcy 

Recorded by Michael McKnight

#votesforwomen (2018)

Composed by Una Lee, #votesforwomen is a song cycle that includes includes reworkings of the original suffragette protest song Keep woman in her sphere, as well as sardonic recitations of ‘meninist’ texts.

Performed at PS2 gallery in 2018 for International Women’s Day; and at Crescent Arts Centre for Belfast Book Festival in 2018. A live recording is featured on Songs and Games.

HIVE with Terra Nova Productions (2022)

In March 2022, HIVE was invited by Terra Nova Productions to lead a workshop and recording session for their community artists as part of the development of their production The Trumpet and the King. The workshop explored a series of improvisation techniques and incorporated found text from the producers of The Trumpter and the King.

Muamua (2019)

Una Lee‘s project Muamua (2014) began as a solo performance and was translated into a score of graphics and text. In 2019 HIVE performed their rendition of the score at the Black Box, Belfast. Members of the ensemble accompany themselves on instruments (violin, cello, guitar, flute and electronics).