This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.
https://soundcloud.com/acornavi/robert-wilson-crickets-audio (Audio of the Crickets)
This is the sound of Crickets chirping. It is two tracks played over each other. The first is the sound of the crickets at regular speed, the second is the sound of the crickets slowed down to the equivalent of a human life-span. Crickets have a very short life span and therefore vibrate at a much higher frequency. Slow their vibration down to a human level of vibration and they’re famous, high-pitched chirps begin to sound like a literal choir of angels.
The piece was recorded by composer Jim Wilson and is unmanipulated (save for the obvious slow down in tempo.)
Here is a quote from a Tom Waits interview saying the following…
“Q: Most interesting recording you own?
A: It’s a mysteriously beautiful recording from, I am told, Robbie Robertson’s label. It’s of crickets. That’s right, crickets. The first time I heard it… I swore I was listening to the Vienna Boys Choir, or the Mormon Tabernacle choir. It has a four-part harmony. It is a swaying choral panorama. Then a voice comes in on the tape and says, “What you are listening to is the sound of crickets. The only thing that has been manipulated is that they slowed down the tape.” No effects have been added of any kind, except that they changed the speed of the tape. The sound is so haunting. I played it for Charlie Musselwhite, and he looked at me as if I pulled a Leprechaun out of my pocket.”
“I had these messages saying that Robbie Robertson said to get in touch with me. So we went in studio. He said, `I want you to do whatever you feel like. And, now, these are crickets.’ So I thought, oh, my goodness. I’m to accompany crickets, see?
And when I heard them, I was so ashamed of myself, I was so humbled, because I had not given them enough respect. Jim Wilson recorded crickets in his back yard, and he brought it into the studio and went ahead and lowered the pitch and lowered the pitch and lowered the pitch. And they sound exactly like a well-trained church choir to me. And not only that, but it sounded to me like they were singing in the eight-tone scale. And so what–they started low, and then there was something like I would call, in musical terms, an interlude; and then another chorus part; and then an interval and another chorus. They kept going higher and higher.
They were saying cricket words. I kept thinking, `Oh, I almost can understand them. It’s a nice, mellow tone. And they never went off pitch until one of the interludes, where they went real crazy and they got back on again to where they were. And I know that people do not know that they’re listening to crickets unless they’re told that that’s what that is.”
This recording, if accurate, is truly amazing. The revelation that insects could, at various pitch levels, imitate powerful symphonic works, brings rise to many important questions in regards to the vast, complex network binding nature and the universe.
There is still much unknown about the physics of sound and the vibrations of nature but more needs to be explored and addressed. I commend Jim Wilson for his unique contribution to the musical world, perhaps other composers will look into this further.
There are truly angels among us.
**P.S – upon listening to this for the last half an hour I can say that this is really powerful stuff. Extremely healing, very calming and meditative. Very hard to stop listening.