There has been rhythm on this planet for millions of years longer than humans have opened their mouths to sing. Long before birds, long before whales, insects have been thrumming, scraping, and drumming complex beats out into the world. David Rothenberg decided to investigate the resounding beats of cicadas, crickets, katydids, leafhoppers and water bugs in his unusual third foray into music made with and out of the animal world. After working with birds and whales, he now tackles the minute complex tunes of the entomological universe, building songs live nad in the studio with cicadas who emerge only once every seventeen years, treehoppers who tap complex vibrations onto plant stalks, and a tiny beetle who makes one of the animal world’s loudest sounds by vibrating its penis underwater.
He is joined by guitarist Robert Jürjendal, who’s worked with Fripp and Eno, Timothy Hill of the Harmonic Choir, Umru Rothenberg on iPad, and millions of tapping, screeching, and howling bugs—Hear them before they hear you.
ECM recording artist David Rothenberg has performed and recorded on clarinet with Jan Bang, Scanner, Glen Velez, Karl Berger, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, and the Karnataka College of Percussion. He has twelve CDs out under his own name, including "On the Cliffs of the Heart," named one of the top ten releases of 1995 by Jazziz magazine. He is the author of Why Birds Sing, book and CD, published in seven languages and the subject of a BBC television documentary. Rothenberg also appears in the PBS show The Music Instinct, and numerous International documentaries. concening his book Thousand Mile Song, about making music with whales. His first CD on ECM Records, “One Dark Night I Left My Silent House,” a duet album with pianist Marilyn Crispell, appeared in May 2010 to wide acclaim.
Can you believe humans got their groove from bugs? Listen to this remarkable recording and learn where dubstep really comes from. Or is it bugstep?
Released concurrently with Rothenberg’s new book, Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise (St Martins Press).