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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Bees of War / The War of Bees (MP3)

Apostolos Loufopoulos‘s “Bee” has been recognized with an Award of Distinction by this year’s Ars Electronica. It is a thrilling feat of audio imagery, putting the listener on the wings of its title subject. Much of the experience involves the illusion of motion through a three-dimensional space, but it isn’t all fast-passing objects, virtual wind, and the razor flutter of forewings. There is a martial beat that brings another illusion to the fore, the illusion of anthropomorphism (MP3).

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We don’t just settle onto the bee’s back for this ride. In Loufopoulos’ telling, we appear to swear allegiance to the Queen and proceed quickly into a state of warfare. There is martial drumming that clearly intends to signal active battle. There are rat-a-tat-tat percussives that may be rooted in the rhythms of wings, but they also bring to mind machine-gun fire. There is a tonal hum that could be the kind of rapid action that presents itself as a mirage of stillness, but it also posits a psychological toll. And then there are hints at orchestral scoring, bringing to mind the big screen WWI and WWII dramas of the past. Loufopoulos’ technical mastery is state-of-the-art, but it works precisely because his allusions and entertainment instincts are splendidly old-school.

Track originally posted at touchradio.org.uk. Loufopoulos maintains a youtube.com presence. More on the composer at his essim.gr page. (Bee photo via itlab.us.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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