It isn’t often that cicada celebrities show up on your Mother’s lawn, but when you have a healthy supply of easily catchable singing M. septendecim, and a cicada website, these things happen.
Last Saturday I met up with cicada researcher John Cooley, Japanese cicada researcher Jim Yoshimura, and musician and professor David Rothenberg at Roosevelt Park in Edison NJ. They were looking for male cicadas to perform with David at a World Science Festival event in the Bronx later that night. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was also there to interview David and John, and artist Asher Jay was there to lend David support.
The cicadas in the park weren’t performing well enough, so I directed them to my Mom’s place in Metuchen.
The Metuchen location yielded many screaming cicadas. David collaborated with the cicadas on the spot with his Ani-Moog iPad app, and a clarinet. John Cooley dropped some cicada science for Stephen Farrell’s video camera as well. My Mom served refreshments. Once enough cicadas were collected, the cicada celebrities departed — before leaving David left my Mom an autographed book and CD. Very cool!
I want to hear you sing with the cicadas! They’re out in DC and starting to emerge in Jersey. From what I’ve been able to discern there’s little agreement about where they’ll be in NYC.
My friends form the band Blithe Doll are already planning on contributing their cicada collaboration.
Speaking of musicians who have jammed with cicadas, here is David Rothenberg jamming with some 17 year cicadas:
David also has a new album called Bug Music featuring his collaborations with insects!
Last night at the Judson Church in NYC I opened David’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event with a presentation about the 17 Year cicadas. David’s film and music were extraordinary. Here is a review of the event.
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More information about Samuel and the Kickstarter:
I’m a natural history filmmaker and time-lapse photographer (http://www.motionkicker.com/time-lapse/), and have been following and filming the various broods of periodical cicadas since 2007 (there are multiple groupings of cicadas called broods that come out in different years across the eastern U.S.). I’ve got 200+ hours of footage, and am working towards an hour documentary that focuses on the 17-year varieties as well as cicadas in general. This film is anticipated in 2014, and will be broadcast on PBS afterwards.
Here’s some news for cicada fanatics: the movie Cicada Princess has officially wrapped post production and was and successfully submitted it for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival. Read more about it. Congratulations to film maker Mauricio Baiocchi.
The Cicada Princess is a stop-motion animated movie featuring anthropomorphic cicadas. It was funded via Kickstarter contributions. Visit the Cicada Princess website. Here at Cicada Mania, we’re interested in both real and fictional cicadas.