[Editor's Note: This article was written by the CTL's Laurie Hansen.]
Music has a powerful effect on moods and feelings. In fact, as we all know, “certain music and sounds [can] improve your mood and heal the mind, body” and spirit. With that said, can I ask you what you feel when you hear the sound of chirping crickets? Lucky, perhaps?
Swedish Cricketmeister, Lars Frederikkson, likes how he feels when he hears the sounds of crickets so much so that he incorporates their sweet songs into his minimalist music. He actually “performed once with 700 crickets,” and says, “I’ve been doing … different kinds of combinations — with improvised jazz, improvised art music, compositions by minimalists like Philip Glass …” Of course, cricket adoration is certainly not new since a “study of the diverse field of ancient Chinese literature reveals a great number of farmer’s proverbs or popular songs relating to insects” in Chinese Cricket Culture.
Crickets often grace us with their presence in the suburbs, forests and countryside. So, you’d think it would be safe to assume that the concrete jungle is an unlikely place to hear these music-making creepy-crawlies. However, with the help of Sound Graffiti Artist, Michael Dory (who, by the way, adjuncts at NYU’s ITP from where Botanicalls hail), urbanites enjoy cricket songs, too. Dory’s creations, Concrete Crickets, are “tiny electronic cyber creatures small enough to hide…” With hopes of admiration, Dory secretly installs his surprising art on city streets to be appreciated by unsuspecting passers-by. He watches and listens for their reactions.
What a pleasant surprise!