CD Thai Elephant Orchestra (CD 841351),
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Thai Elephant Orchestra

  • 1. Thung Kwian Sunrise
    2. Temple Music
    3. Rainforest
    4. Jojo
    5. Duo for Renats
    6. Big Band
    7. Swing Swing Swing
    8. Percussion Trio
    9. Luuk Kob's Diddley Bow Feature
    10. Harmonica Music
    11. Heavy Logs
    12. Now We're off to Paint
    13. Elephant Field Recordings
    14. Somneuk & Four Elephants
    15. Trio for Theremin & Electric Keyboard
    16. Ken's Wind Instrument
    17. Big Elephant Saddle
    18. Somneuk's Renat Solo
    19. Chang Chang Chang
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 4

  • Credits
    ProducerDavid Soldier; Richard Lair; Roy Young
    EngineerRoy Young

    Composer Dave Soldier and author Richard Lair have produced concerts in which elephants from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center use their trunks to play marimbas, a Theremin, xylophones, gongs, drums and harmonica.
    Recorded on location at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Lampang, Thailand. Includes liner notes by Dave Soldier and Richard Lair.
    A surprisingly good collection of songs played almost entirely by elephants. This project is the brainchild of a pair of New York musicians, David Soldier and Richard Lair. The elephants of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center here perform on a number of instruments created expressly for their purpose (almost exclusively large percussion instruments made from illegal logging tools, but also including a stray harmonica or two here and there). The elephants would appear to have enjoyed beating their various drums, xylophones, and gongs and they keep shockingly regular rhythms throughout. As it was, the elephants weren't trained to play songs written by humans, per se, so much as trained in the basics of making sounds with their instruments and then letting loose to play as they wished in combinations. Given this, the music is surprisingly good, often mimicking the sounds of Javanese gamelan to some degree. The sound is at times quite melodic and at times quite irregular (in the far reaches of the free jazz repertoire). Also included are a few tunes with the elephants' mahouts playing various native instruments that they were also quite capable on, both with the elephants and without. While the irregularity of the album may be somewhat unsettling for the average listener, this is certainly a milestone in recordings, and is potentially one of the (if not the) best recordings featuring non-humans playing music in a vaguely human sense. Pick it up for the novelty value or await the secondary album. ~ Adam Greenberg

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