Bells, Bugs, Whispers & Plinks: String Drones, Cicada Rasp (Audio)

Jun 29, 2021
Hosted by Stephen Bradley and Edward Ruchalski.

Bells, Bugs, Whispers & Plinks radio program is inspired by a Wave Farm artist-residency that Bradley and Ruchalski were awarded in summer 2019 that focused on an experimental multi-phonic ecological radio installation informed by Wave Farm’s biophonic and radiophonic ecological soundscape, and creating sound works for radio broadcast based on the Wave Farm sonic environment. Other works featured on the show are based on concepts of serialism and ultra-rationality, acoustic ecology, aleatory and anti-rational, musique concrète, microtonal, lowercase, sound/noise, site-specific installations and interactions, synthetic and ambient phonographic spaces. Please contact Bradley ( or Ruchalski ( for information about the program or submission inquiries.

Crepe Myrtle Tree Murmur, Bradley, 5:08
Spr Gtr Dr1, Ruchalski, 5:32
Cicada Code, Bradley, 5:08
Spring ‘21 Res Piece, Ruchalski, 4:58
BROOD X on Gravel Radio, Bradley, 4:25
Wire-Whirled Bells with 5 Repetitions of 3 Voices, Ruchalski, 4:59
Cicada Sirens, Bradley, 5:26
Manitou Trail: Moth & Junebug, Ruchalski, 2:20
A Long Time Between, Ruchalski, 7:27
Cicada Roarer & Wood Thrush, Bradley, 5:14
Spring Mono Mix (3 excerpts), Ruchalski, 3:26

Notes on Bradley’s Brood X pieces:

Crepe Myrtle Tree Murmur
This composition was recorded using powered contact microphones that were attached to the crepe myrtle tree branches in his backyard.  If you listen carefully, you can hear the sounds of the branches, which are activated by the wind and the vibration of the cicadas traveling through the tree limbs. All 3 of the subspecies Magiciada; cassini, septendecula and septendecim can be heard in this recording.   

Cicada Code
This recording was created inside of my sound studio with about 50 cicadas collected and split up and placed into 2 bowls located under the L/R single paired microphones. Also heard in the recording are the subtle faint sounds of the neighborhood just outside of the studio.    

The next three tracks are from live excerpts all from a recent specific location performance with the cicadas that took place in the Patapsco Valley State Park from a larger durational work that is part of the international Telepathic Ensemble that Ed and I have participated in - more information about the Telepathic Ensemble project can be found by following this link,    

BROOD X on Gravel Radio
This is a performance using a small broadband radio as an instrument to interact with the cicada-dominant soundscape from June 16, 5:15 PM EST located in the Patapsco Valley State Park, Hilton area, Maryland, USA.    

Cicada Sirens
This composition is a performative with the BROOD X soundscape using a stringed instrument and an ebow to generate the drone sound, that I used to interact with the individual cicadas along with the background soundscape from June 16, 6:33 PM EST, located in the Patapsco Valley State Park, Hilton area, Maryland, USA.   

Cicada Roarer & Wood Thrush
This performance I used a DIY bullroarer to generate the pulsing drone sound in response to the BROOD X and the Wood Thrush from June 16, 6:45 PM EST located in the Patapsco Valley State Park, Hilton area, Maryland, USA.