NATURE: Insect Soundings | BBC Radio 4 October 2009

Presenter by Paul Evans

Feet-stomping termites, head-banging beetles, tymbal-clicking cicadas, stridulating crickets, whining mosquitoes, pulsating moths, toe-tapping plant hoppers and a whole choir of tuneful songsters join Paul Evans in this unusual sound safari around an ‘orchestra’ of insects.

Their songs announce their presence, define their territory, lure potential mates, and even shock predators.

This programme explores the ways in which insects produce sounds, and hears what this insect ‘music’ is all about. There’s a journey through a termite mound at London’s Southbank Centre during Pestival (see below),where recordings made within a Macrotermes mound were sent to wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson who used them to create a sound track which was played through speakers inside the Termite Pavilion (a scaled-up model of a termite mound), to recreate the sensation of being inside the mound… and the programme ends with an extract from an evening of experimental music curated by Chris Watson at Pestival, featuring recordings of a suzumushi ‘bell’ crickets by Hajime Matsuura (Natural Audio Laboratory, Japan) and voice musician Maria Jardardottir.

Producer: Sarah Blunt for more information and to listen again to the broadcast which is available for a week after broadcast.