Cricket Voice (1987)10:55Hildegard WesterkampTransformations
To Norbert Ruebsaat
“It’s hard to be a night in the desert
without the crickets.
You make it with stars.
You make it with the skin
of the desert night.
You stitch those two together
sky and earth.
You find it with your cricket voice.”
— Norbert Ruebsaat
Cricket Voice is a musical exploration of a cricket, whose song I recorded in the stillness of a Mexican desert region called the Zone of Silence. The quiet of the desert allowed for such acoustic clarity that this cricket’s night song — sung coincidentally very near my microphone — became the ideal “sound object” for this tape composition. Slowed down, it sounds like the heartbeat of the desert, in its original speed it sings of the stars.
The quiet of the desert also encouraged soundmaking. The percussive sounds in Cricket Voice were created by ‘playing’ on desert plants: on the spikes of various cacti, on dried up roots and palm leaves, and by exploring the resonances in the ruins of an old water reservoir.
Cricket Voice was completed at my own studio Inside the Soundscape with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (
- June 1987, Concert, Community Arts Council of Vancouver, Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada)
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
- Composer(s): Hildegard Westerkamp
- Year composed: 1987
- ISWC: T9068760747
- Publisher(s): Yul média
- ISRC: CAD509612290