can you hear the grasshoppers sing?

can you hear the grasshoppers sing?
sound installation/multi-channel audiowork
Galleria Harmaa, Turku 21.4.-22.5.2016, Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, Kiasma theater, Helsinki 20.2.2016, Free Art Space 12.4.2015 Helsinki & Avatar co-op, Quebec City, Canada, 5.12.-20.12.2013


I remember one childhood summer, when I first realized that my father couldn’t hear the grasshoppers singing. I felt confused; why are there sounds that can not be heard by everybody?

This memory resurfaced a few years ago, when I was thinking more about my personal relation to sound.

To my knowledge the sound of singing grasshoppers is the only specific aural phenomenon that can be lost from hearing. Grasshoppers and crickets sing in a very high pitch between 12 – 20 kHz and these frequencies can be lost because of normal aging.

I find it poetic that there are sounds that are connected to the process of aging. The disappearance is somehow a reminder of our limited, transient existence.

“Can You Hear the Grasshoppers Sing?” is a generative 16-channel sound installation, where different field recordings of grasshopper sounds are randomly triggered to different speakers. The computer program also transposes these sounds; pitchshifting it up behind the 20 kHz human hearing threshold and down to 5 kHz enabling everybody to hear them.

The project was first exhibited as an end of residency exhibition in Avatar Centre Québec City, Canada in December 2013.  Second edition was at Free Art Space in Helsinki April 2015. Third edition at Jussi Koitela’s Skills of Economy Session- Beginning from the End -event at Kiasma theater, Conteporary Art Museum Kiasma, February 2016. The most recent fourth edition was exhibited at Galleria Harmaa, Turku as a solo exhibition, April 2016.!…-joonas-siren/