Disquiet Junto 0304: Let’s Buzz [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

Suss Müsik once visited a biodynamic farm in Kentucky. The influence that bees have our ecosystems, both natural and artificial, cannot be overstated. The basic structure of a honeycomb can be found replicated in a variety of industrial uses, from thermoplastic engineering to aerospace.

The architecture of a honeycomb is both hexagonal and quasihorizontal, meaning that each layer is built with a set of open and closed facets. The open ends are shared by opposing cells, which strengthen as they nest into one another. This ensures that the least amount of material is used while protecting the comb’s structure when honey is harvested.

For this weirdly pastoral piece, Suss Müsik sought to create a hexagonal and quasihorizontal musical composition using a similar approach. We played six “cells” on acoustic guitar with open ends, each sounding incomplete when played in isolation. It is only when the fragments are butted against each other that a musical function emerges.

To replicate the spirit of worker bees toiling, a subtle tambourine rhythm keeps time as the guitar parts ebb and flow, perhaps referencing the result of honey being harvested. Just as hexagonal patterns discourage bees from building larger combs, the lattice of guitars is constrained by the simple economy of a repetitious strum in three drone-like phases.

The piece is titled Broodcomb, named after cocoons that darken over time. This is the effect of “travel stains” caused by bees working inside cells of unharvested honey.

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