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Jamming With Bugs

It is difficult to find a musical way into the world of cicadas but it can be done, as this video indicates:

Learn the nine different sounds the three concurrent species of Magicicada make and the whoosh of noise becomes an insect symphony.  Read the book to learn more.

We played many concerts in the New York metropolitan area in the spring of 2013, some even included live cicadas.  Here is one set with Pauline Oliveros and Tony Levin


In the field:

And on the mike on stage:

They were quite well-behaved and did sing on cue.

The Bug Music CD presents a whole album of music carefully created in collaboration between human and insect, some live in the field, and some constructed in the studio.

There are a handful of quite interesting pieces of human music in which insects play an important role.


Here are a few of them:


Josquin Després, “El Grillo” Ensemble Les Cours Européennes, Musique De La Renaissance

Harry James, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” (Rimsky-Korsakov), Rare War Time Recordings vol. 1 

Bela Bartok, “Out of Doors: The Night's Music” Jeno Jando, Bartok: Out of Doors

I Gusti Putu Putra , “Balinese Monkey Chant 2: Forest Scene,” Kecak from Bali

Richard Lerman, “Insects After Gamelan,” Within Earreach

Ba-Benzele Pygmies, “Women Off To Gather Payu,” Bayaka—The Music Of the Ba-Benzele Pygmies

Gyorgy Ligeti, “Artikulation,” Forbidden Planets—Music from the Pioneers of Electronic Sound

Francisco Lopez, “La Selva (Excerpt),” The Disc Of Music And Nature

Tom Lawrence, “Seven Springs,” Water Beetles Of Pollardstown Fen

David Dunn, “The Sound of Light in Trees,” The Sound of Light in Trees

Mira Calix, “Nunu,” 3 Commissions

Douglas Quin, “Aria Locustae,” Oropendola

Lars Fredriksson, “Invocation II: Three Harmonious Bells,” Ting Qiu: Mr Fung’s 108 Singing Crickets

Jean Poinsignon, “Cigales cymbales,” Bestioles le temps s'étend...

Bostjan Perovsek, “Touchings,” Touchings

Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer, “Resvete,” Re: ECM

Graeme Revell, “Invaders of the Heart,” The Insect Musicians

Loga, “620,” An Anthology of Chinese Experimental Music

Monolake, “Toku,” Ghosts

Black Dog, “Future Delay Thinking,” Music For Real Airports

Mungolian Jet Set, “Glitches’n’Bugs,” We Gave It All Away...And Now We Are Taking It Back

Michelle Shocked, “The Incomplete Image,” Texas Campfire Tapes

Imogen Heap, “Glittering Clouds (Locusts),” Plague Songs

Telek, “Tolili,” Serious Tam

David Bridie and Arnold Ap, “Apuse,” Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Soundtrack

Hazmat Modine, “Cicada,” Cicada

Deadmau5 (featuring Chris James), “The Veldt [original mix], The Veldt EP

Check out a playlist of many of these pieces on Spotify.

Website designed by Umru Rothenberg

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