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  • Writer's pictureSian Sullivan

A Bee Song by Banco de Gaia and Future Pasts

We're happy to announce the pre-release A Bee Song 🐝

A new single by recording artist Banco de Gaia and Future Pasts, researching cultural and conservation landscapes in north-west Namibia.

Based on a traditional Namibian song that praises the honey bee, A Bee Song is an uplifting and vibrant track full of life and humanity. With an infectious groove and a buzzing bassline, the track is guaranteed to get heads and feet moving.

You can find the track at ~

Other platforms

It's also available for listening here ~

The motivation for this recomposition was to bring an Indigenous Damara/ǂNūkhoe praise song (|gais) to a contemporary audience.

Recorded by German linguists in 1954 and archived at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Switzerland, the original song is sung by a Viktoria ǁHoeses.

The song is called 'Honey (bee song) / Danis (!habugu ams) . When we first listened to the song it reminded Future Pasts researchers Sian Sullivan and Welhemina Suro Ganuses, of being taken honey-harvesting by the late Nathan ǂÛina Taurob of Sesfontein in north-west Namibia.

As he lit a fire to calm the bees, they began to hum loudly inside the mountain where his hive was located. We've tried to recreate this sound of the mountain humming with bees in A Bee Song.

The late Nathan ǂÛina Taurob collects honey from a hive he had harvested from for around 20 years, north-west of Sesfontein, Namibia. Photos by Sian Sullivan, 1995.

Sadly, this sustainable and highly skilled honey harvesting practice has pretty much died out now. Where there were multiple hives tended by specialist honey harvesters, these have also disappeared.

Our research on the Khoekhoegowab recordings in the Dammann archive at Basler Afrika Bibliographien has been published in the journal Oral History and includes a discussion of the song that became so powerfully recomposed by Banco de Gaia

 as A Bee Song 🐝

More info here ⬇️

A Bee Song is taken from the forthcoming Banco de Gaia album Trauma, due for release on September 6 2024.

Release date: April 26 2024 on streaming platforms

Bandcamp date: May 3 2024, A Bee Song available for purchase, A Bee Song and My Little Country downloadable with pre-orders of Trauma

Label: Disco Gecko

Catalogue number: DSCGCKDIG115 • Barcode/ UPC: 5038719016758

A Bee Song 05:45  GBCSF2400019 • stream preview 2:30 • download 5:45 

A Bee Song (Radio Edit) 04:04 GBCSF2400027

For three decades Toby Marks, aka Banco de Gaia, has consistently redefined world electronica, leaving an indelible footprint on the global music scene, sparking many a club and festival dancefloor, and inspiring countless musicians to follow. Toby has been at the forefront of blending acoustic and electronic sounds, integrating themes and techniques from cultures and traditions the world over. Toby has worked with musicians and producers as ingenious and diverse as Pink Floyd’s Dick Parry, Natacha Atlas, Tim Wheater and Hawkwind – to name just a few.

Ranging from cinematic ambience to pounding dancefloor-fillers, his music defies genres and borrows from a wealth of musical sources and styles. Toby’s background in jazz and rock combine with his love of dance and world music to produce a glorious, uplifting and at times mesmerising sound. Trauma will be Banco de Gaia’s thirteenth studio album.Further information

Future Pasts began as a cross-disciplinary Arts and Humanities research project exploring understandings and practices of sustainability in west Namibia. Collaborative work with the Nami-Daman Traditional Authority and the Hoanib Cultural Group of north-west Namibia led to the founding of the Future Pasts Trust in Namibia for cultural heritage research and revitalisation.

The Future Pasts Trust can be supported and contacted at

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