Milan, Italy (October 15, 2015)—Ending a six-month run at the end of October, Expo Milano 2015—essentially this year’s World’s Fair—features 145 countries, each hosting its own self-built pavilion. The spectacular UK Pavilion explores the role of pollination in our food supply with a meadow and 14-meter high, aluminum beehive. Underscoring the experience is a three-dimensional surround mix of music, nature, and bee sounds, emitting from a concealed, multi-zone Meyer Sound system.
Conceived and designed by Nottingham-based artist and sculptor Wolfgang Buttress (who also guided audio programmer Robin Whittaker and composers Tony Foster and Kevin Bates), the hive features audio effects delivered by 18 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers and six MM-10XP subwoofers. Two UP-4XP and 12 MM-4XP loudspeakers and two MM-10XP subwoofers create audio zones at the front entrance and throughout the meadow, delivering a constantly shifting palette of musically enhanced, natural meadow and bee sounds that lead visitors to the culminating experience of the hive. A small conference center apart from the hive houses two UP-4XP loudspeakers and one MM-10XP subwoofer. The system makes use of Meyer’s IntelligentDC technology, allowing a single, five-conductor cable to carry remote power and balanced audio signal to the loudspeakers from a rack-mount power supply and signal distribution unit.
“The MM-10XPs provide a low-frequency sound bed which emanates from the Hive, a hum that is produced from recorded cello, tuned for physical impact,” explains Mike Bedford, audio system designer for the Pavilion and principal at Hoare Lea Acoustics of London. “The vertically spaced rings of MM-4XPs reproduce a dynamic mix of bee sounds, all interwoven with original music components that together move around the space, immersing the listener.”
For the structure of the Pavilion, Buttress collaborated with Simmonds Studio engineering and the architectural firm BDP. Manufacture and production was by Stage One, with graphic design and animation concepts by Squint/Opera. Dr. Martin Bencsik, an authority on bee behavior, served as scientific and creative consultant.
Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc.