Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Listening to the Sound of the Cicada

The "plague of locusts" is definately here in Wilmette, and I was thinking about taking a video with sound and posting it up on Youtube so you could hear their racket. Turns out there is no need to do so, as Peter Gena, a local composer, has done something really interesting. Gena, who lives a few blocks from Wilmette's western border in Glenview (and who also is a professor at the world-famed School of the Art Institute in Chicago), has placed a microphone in the window of a shed in his wooded backyard. The microphone is attached to a streaming internet feed, and it picks up the sounds of the locusts.
Reaching the site--while not hard--takes a little skill with your computer mouse. Simply click here, and a page will open with a map of the world, showing live audio feeds around the globe. Go to Chicago, where there are three audio feeds, indicated by tiny boxes. (The little orange boxes indicate that the microphone is currently live.)If you hover a bit with your mouse over Chicago, you will find the picture marked "Glenview." Click on that, and you will hear the sounds picked-up by the microphone, pictured above.
Gena, who is an avant garde composer, has based a number of his musical compositions on an interesting marriage between science and music, including DNA sequencing and other scientific data. Professor Gena, who has a long-standing interest in the use of computers, has put some of his music online, including the first three minutes of his "Red Blood Cells," which you just might find fascinating.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

Jun 14, 2007, 6:56:00 AM  

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