Watch a short excerpt from Stephen Vitiello’s forthcoming album where cicadas roar like 1000 lions


Okay. We admit this is a big tease. Probably a cynical marketing exercise designed for world domination. Or at least domination of the cicada field recording genre, but we’ve managed to get our hands on a video from US sound artist and field recording aficionado Stephen Vitiello.

We’ve been fans of Vitiello’s work for a while now. You can read our reviews of his 2011 album with Mem1, Age of Insects (noticing a theme?) here and 2008’s Box Music with Machinefabriek here.

This is what he says about his forthcoming album Brood IX (Room40):

“These recordings were made at the foot of Peters Mountain in Monroe County, West Virginia in June of 2020. It was a rare moment of escape, during the pandemic. 17-year cicadas (this group, classified as Brood IX) emerge from the ground in late May and create a sonic wash that resonates from the trees and mountain. These cicadas then fade out by early July not to be seen or heard in this location for another 17 years. Even while recording, they’d drop from above, landing on the mic, on our shoulders and anything else and hold on for a final buzz and momentary flight before dying.

Peters Mountain is a spot I’ve been returning to for several years, to record a rare wind phenomena that happens at moments, generally in the winter and is said to roar like a 1000 lions. On this trip, there was little wind but the roar of the brood took over. The sound of these insects rising and falling as the sun came in and out from the clouds.”

You can listen to the longer piece here:
As the first track on the album we’re not quite at the roaring lions part yet.

He has a forthcoming edition, Brood IX on Room40, which will be released on the 31st of July. You can pre order here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.