WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

David Rothenberg: "Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise"

Any day now, cicadas in the northeastern United States will again emerge from their 17-year cycle. The deafening sound upon their arrival is familiar to many people –- and often a nostalgic reminder of sweltering summer evenings. Musician and professor David Rothenberg can’t wait for the cicadas. He has spent the last few years studying and playing duets with cicadas, crickets and beetles. In his other books he explored why birds sing and whale songs. Now he examines the rhythm and noise of insects and their influence on human music. His new book and CD are called “Bug Music.”

Listen To Bug Music

Magicicada Unexpected Road
Father and son live on clarinet and iPad confront the 17 year cicadas in Virginia, spring 2012.

Riddim Bugz
Here, for once, the beats of bugs are quantized into regularity. Featuring the red-headed meadow katydid, mole cricket, confused ground cricket, and the common virtuoso katydid, over the regular beat of Robinson's cicada.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise" by David Rothenberg. Copyright 2013 by David Rothenberg. Reprinted here by permission of St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved.

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