Scientific Name: Magicicada percussaris
Common Name: Circadas
Location: WI, CA
Description: Discovered in 2016, Circadas spend the majority of their lives in larval form underground. After reaching maturity through a molting process, they emerge in swarms to congregate on the ground, in trees, and on man-made structures. The brood synchronizes their development in large numbers to overwhelm predators and ensure species survival.
While above ground, Circadas are completely dependent on the sun’s rays for sustenance, as they have no other means of producing or storing energy. Their percussive songs crescendo in proportion to the sun’s intensity: on a hot day, the males can produce a surprising volume by striking and grinding their tymbals against their abdomen. It is suspected they use their calls for mating, and to communicate availability of their solar life source. When cloudy, a cluster of Circadas falls silent to conserve energy—though when the sun reaches its peak, their calls multiply in a deafening, frenetic cacophony.
PiBines is an installation that uses credit Raspberry Pi computers, homemade turbines, and tiny sensors to detect local wind speeds. Each PiBine harnesses a Pure Data patch that sonifies the wind’s force into lonely, wandering drones that are emitted out of a speaker fitted in each turbine. The PiBines burble in a stasis until the breeze ushers them into a field of wildly cascading glissandos and strange tone clusters.