Cicadas at Yotsuya Station

26 Jul

mondo cicada

Yesterday I learned that I had never before heard a cicada, and that they sound not unlike some of the noise musicians I’ve had the displeasure of hearing.

I stood above Yotsuya Station in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, recording this crazy sound, thinking first it was electrical noise coming from the trains, then maybe the escalator malfunctioning. It took a couple of minutes to realize it was insects.

The first half of this is two different cicadas. The second half, starting with the clicking, is a huge camouflage moth. When I held up the recorder to it, maybe a foot away, it started clicking faster. Then it lifted up its hind leg, like a dog, and squirted out a liquid at me, like a dog.

I wonder if it was a defense mechanism, because then it started that super high-pitched buzz, and the other moths in the tree followed suit. I left before they swarmed me.

yotsuya train station


3 Responses to “Cicadas at Yotsuya Station”

  1. Jared July 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I was actually in a park the yesterday and I heard what I counted to be five or six Cicadas around me. I thought the same thing about noise music (although the Cicadas, being in nature, were in full surround sound, which I have yet to experience in music). I think that you have probably heard them before but just dismissed them as other (like electrical) buzzing. This one is especially musical compared to any that I have heard, really cool recording.

    • Elisa Hough July 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      A park in Davis? I had thought I’d heard cicadas before, but I just remember a constant buzz, nothing rhythmic like this.

      Maybe you should work on the Young Mings Surround Sound Experience. The TCS lecture room should accommodate.

  2. Craig Fergus August 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    “You heard the children but what about the cicadas….”


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