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Next up I thought I would present what for me represents THE sound of Summer here in France – the unmistakable sound of cicadas. I’ve noticed that cicada choruses seem to vary greatly depending on geographical location (I’ll post a few comparisons over the next few weeks to show what I mean). But one thing that remains consistent across the continents is that they can become really loud!

Having spent my first six months in the South of France (over the Summer of 2010), I quickly became used to this sound. So much so that now, when I listen back to my recordings it takes me straight back there! Everyday without fail, cicadas could be heard singing from the moment the temperature rose to a certain level (around 28 degrees Centigrade if I remember correctly). There is a strangely hypnotic rhythm to the soundscape when many cicadas sing in chorus. Each individual cicada’s rhythmical call seems to lock into sync with the other cicadas that are within range, accumulating into a very impressive natural orchestra.

This recording was made in the garden of a Provençal Mas (farmhouse) in the village of Barbentane, about 10 Kilometres away from Avignon. It was the middle of the afternoon and the cicadas were all in full chorus. I directed the mic towards a tree which must have housed literally hundreds of cicadas and the result is quite impressive.

Photo courtesy of t0mweb (Creative Commons)