This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



(photo by Charles Lindsay)

David Rothenberg will jam with humans and insects at special Ear to the Earth program at Judson Church (photo by Charles Lindsay)

Judson Church
Wednesday May 22, suggested donation $15, 7:30

You better watch out, because Brood II is on its way, ready to strike at any minute. It’s been seventeen years since Magicicadas have hit New York City, but they’re preparing to emerge, buzzing the metropolitan area with their 7 kHz mating call. The nymphs, which will grow quickly into adult cicadas, will appear once the temperature hits a steady sixty-four degrees, but David Rothenberg is already set for the onslaught. The self-described musician, composer, author, and philosopher-naturalist has just released Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise (St. Martin’s, April 2013, $26.99) and the accompanying Bug Music CD (Terra Nova), completing the trilogy that began with Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Birdsong and Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound. “Each shrill, whining, or whooshing song is a call to the endless nature of love,” he writes in the new book. “However fast love goes we know it will return, the one sure thing that will never be exhausted as all the rest of nature gets spent, used up, or destroyed. Cicadas on the branches, eternal optimists, lovers of the moment.” Rothenberg will headline the special program “Insect Music” on May 22 at Judson Church, presented by Ear to the Earth, consisting of an introduction by Cicada Mania founder Dan Mozgai, the world premiere of Richard Knox Robinson’s half-hour film Song of the Cicadas, a panel discussion with Rothenberg, Robinson, performance artist and former political prisoner Tim Blunk, and David’s son, Umru Rothenberg, moderated by Radiolab founder Robert Krulwich, and a live performance by David Rothenberg on clarinets and laptop, Pauline Oliveros on accordion, Harmonic Choir member Timothy Hill providing overtone vocals, and Garth Stevenson on double bass, along with recordings of cicadas, crickets, katydids, leafhoppers, water bugs, and other insects.

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