Night music, musical translation of stridulating insects

Night music, for spatialized reed quintet and electronics, is derived from direct transcriptions and arrangements of recordings of the summer dusk and night sounds of insects and other creatures in a Virginia forest. Every movement in the piece is a fragment taken from the 40 minute original recording. The striking increase in density and loudness as dusk becomes night is the guiding formal principle of the piece. The recordings, featured in the electronics, were made with five simultaneous microphones in a pentagonal formation, at a distance of ~30 meters between each mic. Each of the five microphone analyses and transcriptions was assigned to an instrument (mic 1 to ob.; mic 2 to cl., etc.), rotating the pairings in each movement. The multi-channel recording sought an expanded listening field resulting from the different microphone responses and placings. Among the various features of the night sounds, one particularly caught my ears: constantly microtonally morphing triads and their aggregates resulting from the superimposition of the multitude of crickets.

The detailed steps of the process are included in the paper "Musical Aesthetics of the Natural World", co-authored with Eli Stine and published in the Jefferson Journal of Science and Culture. Please find the link to the article below.


Source material field recording_stridulating insects at dusk, Walnut Creek Park, Virginia

Composition_Night music, for spatialized reed quintet and electronics