HV016- Bugs and Birds

Jumping spider, Habronattus dossenusHearing Voices from NPR®
016 Bugs and Birds: Sounds of Summer
Host: Jeff Rice of Western Soundscape Archive
Airs week of: 2009-06-24 (Originally: 2008-06-18)

“Bugs and Birds” (52:00 mp3):

Jeff Rice of the Western Soundscape Archive hosts an hour of creeping, crawling, flying critter sounds for the start of Summer:

Sound artist Nina Katchadourian makes car alarms from bird calls.

Ken Nordine argues “For the Birds” on his 2001 CD A Transparent Mask, with music by Paul Wertico and Jim Hines.

Virginia Belmont’s Famous Singing and Talking Birds tweet the “William Tell Overture (Canary Sextet).”

Recordist Lang Elliot‘s CD Prairie Spring captures a “soundscape of prairie meadows and potholes in spring and early summer.”

An extinct woodpecker revives an Arkansas town; it’s “The Lord God Bird” by Long Haul Productions, with an original song composed for ther story by Sufjan Stevens.

Brian Eno’s music mimics some “Flies,” from the 2006 compilation Plague Songs.

Folk are buggin’, gettin bittin, swatting and swearing at “Mosquitos,” by M’Iou Zahner Ollswang (from the 1985 collection
Tellus #11: The Sound of Radio.)

Scott Carrier takes a morning walk with poet Jim Harrison.

Lang Elliot soaks up the sounds of “Sora Dawn” — “a pothole marsh at dawn with bittern, wrens, rails, and more (Prairie Spring).

Dr. Rex Cocroft, of the University of Missouri, attaches a phonograph needle to a blade of grass, plugged it into a tape recorder, to go “acoustic prospecting” for little-known suburban lawn sounds like “Leafhoppers,” rarely hard by humans.

Host Jeff Rice breeds bugs to make “Moth Music.”

Ken Nordine declares this “A Good Year for Spiders” (A Transparent Mask).

Entomologist Ian Robertson,, of Boise State University, does the “Gnat Dance” with host Jeff Rice and an outdoor chorale performance for insects.

And special thanks to Dr. Hayward Spangler of the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson for braving bugs between his teeth while “Listening to Ants.”

This hour produced with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Comments (4)

The Surfjan Stephens song is beautiful.

Comment added by Dylan on 08.30.08

Dylan, the producers of “Lord God Bird,” Long Haul Productions, commissioned that music. You can download it for free at their site:

Comment added by BG on 08.30.08

[…] This post first appeared on Hearing Voices. […]

Pingback added by Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler » Blog Archive » Hearing Voices: Bugs and Birds - For Summer Solstice on 10.08.08

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