Animal Magnetism: How Animal Songs Influence Our Music
Well it's no secret around the office. I love animals. From tapirs to sharks to fennec foxes! Many don't always think about the music that animals are knowingly or unknowingly providing. And some music we take for granted as the animals sing their songs everyday in our backyards. I listen to "Dolphins & Whales" Relax with Nature Vol. 7 quite often. It is beautiful and soothing.
When you think of animals and song, the first ones that might come to mind are birds. You sit in your backyard during a nice Sunday afternoon and a variety of birds will fill the afternoon with song. As you sit there and the sun goes down the crickets and katydids will take over that song and spill into the night with their tune. But if you listen to your surroundings you might find other songs around, too.
I volunteered at a city animal shelter for over 5 years. When a husky would come in you would hear the song of sorrow, it always reminded me of a prisoner singing their longing of freedom. Every once in a while another dog would join in and a chorus would begin.
Many of us have not had the privilege of hearing a whale song in real life, but we are lucky enough to have recordings to listen to the beautiful songs from these 40-ton mammals. Their songs travel thousands of miles. There are many more: wolves, frogs, gibbons, howler monkeys and others. And for our younger folks out there, even though you may thinking, "who cares about crickets or katydids," you have the fortunate opportunity to enjoy a much wider variety of insect songs. As we get older our frequency range of hearing decreases and some of the songs that insects sing become inaudible for us, so enjoy them now while you can!
Ok, so maybe these animals wouldn't classify what they do as song, but since we can hear it and enjoy it, we can classify it as song.
There have also been some artists that incorporate animals into their music. Here are a few that I have enjoyed:
Matthew Good features a whale in his haunting and beautiful song, "Great Whales of the Sea." (http://www.matthewgood.org/)
Ratatat takes it to the next level in "Grape Juice City." They not only have their bird adding some vocal backgrounds, they have sampled the birds wings flapping, which adds a very unique element to this song. (http://www.ratatatmusic.com/)
This one is very near and dear to me. This one features my dog, Edison, who passed away this year. It would bring him great joy to sing, it was one of his favorite things to do. I am fortunate that his voice will be captured forever in State Shirt’s "Straw Man." (http://stateshirt.com)
I hope you will share below some beautiful songs you have heard from animals, or songs that you enjoy that feature animals, or even share how animals have influenced your music.