Stridulations for the Good Luck Feast

Make Music Day

Coming together in rhythmic harmony.

For the second year, Make Music Day will feature Billy Martin’s “Stridulations,” a set of interlocking rhythmic pieces that anyone can join, whether or not they read music.

Following an ingenious system of Xs and dots, participants play rhythmic patterns on any instrument or voice, locking together like a Samba band, or stretching out to sound like crickets calling to each other across a field.

The word “Stridulations” refers to the sound of crickets, a species that makes music collectively, but another singing insect will be inescapable in 2024. Two broods of cicadas, the 17-year Brood XIII and the 13-year Brood XIX, will emerge in the United States simultaneously, for the first time in 221 years, and perform billions of insect songs. (Visit to learn more.) In honor of this once-in-a-lifetime insect choir, we invite you to explore the rhythmic practice of Stridulations for yourself.

If you have a good sense of rhythm, and want to bring Stridulations to your town on June 21, register to receive instructions, an excerpt of the score, and the link to a Zoom with Billy Martin in late May to learn the piece.

Billy Martin, Composer

Best known as a member of the musical trio Medeski Martin & Wood, Billy Martin is an American composer, percussionist, visual artist, educator and record producer.

Born in New York City in 1963 to a Radio City Rockette and concert violinist, Martin has honed his craft everywhere from Broadway orchestra pits to Brazilian nightclubs and burgeoning underground performance spaces. From the roots of the downtown scene he emerged with Medeski Martin & Wood, bridging the harmonic complexity of jazz, the conversational fluency of free improvisation, and the groove and swagger of classic R&B and funk. A series of albums and high-profile collaborations with John Scofield, John Zorn, Iggy Pop, Natalie Merchant, and others, brought the band international acclaim.

Martin has published three books and is currently Executive Artistic Director and CEO of the legendary Creative Music Studio, a non-profit organization in New York founded by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry.

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