Thai Elephant Orchestra (with its own devoted webpage: go here)
Music with zebra finches
Songbirds sing for pleasure among other reasons: will they play musical instruments too?
least for the zebra finch, I found that songbirds will play instruments
if they are provided with an ergonomic means to trigger and if they
like the sound - they like brass instruments and hate distorted rock
guitar. This system uses triggers on levers they peck with their beaks.
They will play hundreds of times a day: there was no training or other
reward than hearing the music. These birds were caged, and would
sometimes play intensively for hours and then take breaks for hours
before going back to it.
playing brass samples
big band samples
suspect somesongbirds will play instruments in the wild, if the
instruments were very simple for them, such as landing on rope
triggers. Hard to try where I live except with English sparrows, but
possible for someone living in the country....
The late physicist and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw and I began to coach
pygmy chimps at the San Diego Zoo to play simple instruments: this was
in part the idea of "enriching" their lives in the zoo environment. We
didn't have a chance to record what they played, which was mostly
waving handbells. The matriarch, Lana, loved listening to me playing
for her and curled up on my leg for more than an hour, but I think that
was for social reasons, not simply for the sound.
passed away after a short illness in April, 2005. He was the
promulgator of "the Mozart effect", which uses music to help children
with abstract thinking, and his MIND Institute continues their teaching
Marsh Fugue (2004)
Recordings of crickets, fish, frogs, and nightbirds from Florida,
Louisiana, and Mississippi I arranged in a fugue structure, emulating a
night walk in the swamp. I used to live in a swamp outside of
Gainesville, Florida with an enormous alligator in the backyard (and
three legged dog).
Fruit Flies on Love and Drugs
Recordings o fthe common fruit fly Drosophla melanogaster, courtesy of
the neuroscientist Jay Hirsh at the University of Viriginia
Fruit fly courtship song
Fruit flies on crack cocaine (aerated in their jar)