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

David Weinstein hosts composer, author, and naturalist David Rothenberg to discuss his CD and book, Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise (St Martin Press, 2013) in advance of his appearance in an evening celebrating the sounds of insects and the arrival of the 17-year cicada cycle. The conversation and listening session includes remarkable facts about insects, whales, and birds, anecdotes, and musical samples of his work.

The event:
Ear to the Earth presents INSECT MUSIC at Judson Church on Wednesday May 22, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. with the premiere of Richard Robinson’s film, Song of the Cicada, a presentation by Dan Mozgai, one of the foremost experts on cicada sounds and behavior, Robert Krulwich, the founder of RadioLab, heads panel discussion with Richard Robinson, Tim Blunk, David Rothenberg, and Umru Rothenberg, and a music performance by Pauline Oliveros (accordion), David Rothenberg (clarinets and laptop) Timothy Hill (overtone singing) and Garth Stevenson (double bass), playing off the sounds of cicadas and other insects. For more information, visit

David Rothenberg's earlier books on sound from nature include Why Birds Sing and Thousand Mile Song, on whales. The insect volume considers the radical notion that humans got an idea of rhythm and synchronization from insects that have been thrumming, scraping and drumming complex beats long before we opened our mouth to sing.



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