Observations of insects are typically rendered so clinical that you may as well be studying accounting or, on the flipside, so elementary that youâ€™re dealing with plush caterpillars whose sole purpose is to teach your child how to hug. Share this Place: Stories and Observations is, well, a creature of a different stripe. The multimedia project commissioned in 2006 by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art features music by Mirah (repeat after me: We love Mirah) and her longtime collaborators Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson, AKA Spectratone International (also with Jane Hall and Kane Mathis), and stop-motion video by Britta Johnson. It sounds like something that could easily become childâ€™s play, and in fact the chamber pieces are indeed playful and alive â€” Spectratoneâ€™s arrangements give a subtle bounce to Mirahâ€™s ever-airy vocals, and Johnsonâ€™s stop-motion insects are made from all manner of found objects and wander around rolling dung and other fun things. But itâ€™s also serious literary entomology thanks to its source material: Jean Henri Fabre is considered the father of the study of insects and is most remembered for telling his tiny friendsâ€™ tales as first-person narratives. So it is that in â€œCredo Cigaliaâ€ (video below) a cricket addresses us with â€œyouâ€™ve no choice but to listen to my song.â€ And on the fantastically delicate â€œCommunity,â€ rather than a standard lecture on the group habits of six-legged creatures, you get a lullaby so sweet and smart that youâ€™ll want to sing it to your sons and daughters all the way to MIT.