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The Chaz Interviews - July, 2003
by Chaz and the artists

It was the summer of 2003 and's active message board community was heating up as well -- with flame wars. Along came Chaz Fanaro, looking to cut through the negative noise. He began to interview many of the musical artists who pitched a tent on the popular indie music forum. Others pitched in with questions of their own. July of 2003 could have turned ugly, but thanks to the interviews blanketing the forum, it became a home for insight and mutual respect. The forums were wiped clean by Vivendi in December, 2003. The interviews live on.


Artist description
Zoolophone is a beastly different approach to techno composed entirely of animal sounds, using no conventional musical instruments.

Music Style
techno with electronic processing of animal sounds

Musical Influences
Skeeter Davis, Sheryl Crow, Buck Owens, Robin Trower, Chick Correa, Gnat King Cole

Similar Artists
The Eagles, The Byrds, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Stone Ponys, Three Dog Night

Artist History
Zoolophone began as an experiment: Using loop-based music software, could one turn animal
sounds into 'techno'? This project is meant to provide a tuneful answer. The impetus for
this question was "Carnival Carnivores," a techno song by Saunk Hogben (another artistic
incarnation), which incorporated various howls and growls. That's been done before, of
course. The tradition of blending animal sounds into music has occasionally even ventured
into techno. Utah Saints used whale songs (or something very similar) in "Trance Atlantic
Flight" on its "Something Good" album (London Records). And Hope made catchy use of a
"ribbit" in its "Tree Frog" trance mix on "Classic Techno Traxx" (ZYX Music). But could
music - even up-tempo dance tunes - be derived exclusively from animal sounds? An Internet
search found few who'd tried. The closest match was a "B. Perovsek" on the Slovene Museum of
Natural History website ( This composer is credited
with a "bioacoustic composition" (file name "dotiki.rm") using over a dozen animal
musicians, but the piece also uses more conventional instruments (synthesizer and
accordion). WILD WORLD, however, uses no such instruments. Every song on this album consists
entirely of sounds produced by animals in the course of vocalization, locomotion,
echo-location, or percussion. These are all derived from public domain and other
royalty-free animal recordings. This album includes sounds that range from the unaltered to
the heavily processed. Some should be completely familiar. A few - mainly the percussions -
may be too heavily distorted by effects to be recognizable as animals. But the majority of
the sounds should still be identifiable. Processing and composition were aided immeasurably
by Sonic Foundry's excellent music creation software. This company's ACID Music 3.0, ACID
Style 2.0, and Sound Forge 5.0 were invaluable in this album's production. Indeed, without
this technology - in which Sonic Foundry excels at being simple and intuitive - WILD WORLD
could not have been made. To my knowledge, this is the first such project of its kind. I'd
appreciate emails (to from anyone involved in, or knowing of, similar

Group Members
Tony, Elsie, Kermit, Yogi, Michigan J., Tom, Leo, Huckleberry, and the rest of the gang.

birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals

Wild World

Eureka Springs, Arkansas - USA

Chaz the Spaz
Randy, do you think your music would be useful in animal birth control?

It's hard to say. Maybe for some species, but others might consider it mood music, so it all probably balances out.
Besides, for all I know there might be some mating calls in there as well...

Damn! I've been away a couple of days, and returned only to discover an utter lack of interest in Zoo's exploits.
OK then, I'll interview myself.
SAUNK HOGBEN: How do you see Bush's (re-)election chances?
ZOOLOPHONE: When pigs fly.
SAUNK: What don't you give about Crazy Mama?
ZOOLOPHONE: A rat's ass.
SAUNK: How do you feel about Freedom Fries?
ZOOLOPHONE: One man's meat is another man's poisson.

Chaz the Spaz
How did you come up with the name Zoolophone?

Zoolophone just seemed to fit my predilection for bad puns (e.g., "Clair de Loon"). I may well have been in an altered state at the time.
Actually, the Saunk Hogben name has the more interesting derivation. He's the lead character in a series of short stories by SF author Henry Kuttner. The Hogbens pretend to be backwoods hillfolk, but they're really the remnants of a near-immortal race with superhuman powers.

Chaz the Spaz
I have an idea on the back-burner for an electronic/wacked out version of "Clair de lune" called "Clair de lunacy", but I'm lazy. The Hogbens sounds like it would be a good sci-fi flick, interesting stories?

The Hogben stories are very, very funny.
Uncle Hogben, for instance, is so lazy that he hypnotizes a raccoon into gathering wood, building a bonfire, and roasting itself.
I'll keep an eye out for "Clair de Lunacy."

The Lord Dog Almighty
We visited Eureka a couple of weeks ago. I wish I had had it together enough to ask you about meeting, but, I didn't.
Where are you in Eureka Springs? It's so spread out, there. Helluvan area for a few thousand people.
We may make it back up there this year. Care for a visit?
BTW, Henry Kuttner used to be one of my fave science fiction authors. I think I still have some of those classic paperbacks.
On a musical note, I used to know a guy who made music using animal sounds. This was in the 70's, and he did it on tape (?!!!). His name was Luther. Ring any bells?

Thanks for the questions and comments.
By all means, let me know when you're in the area. I'd love to get together for a visit.
I live about 10 miles outside of town -- far enough away not to have to deal with the summer traffic.
I'd recommend you check out Roaring River state park when you're visiting. It's about 20 miles from Eureka. It's a huge underground river that comes out of a cave there, where there's a trout hatchery. I think it's the most beautiful spot in the Ozarks.
Glad to hear you're a Kuttner fan. I don't think there are many of us left around. He could spin a helluva yarn, and had a great sense of humor too.
Never heard of the Luther guy, but I'd be very, very interested in learning more about him.
Thanks again,

Chaz the Spaz
Are you familiar with Bernie Krause album, Gorilla in the Mix, an album of music created by sampling animal sounds?

No, I haven't heard of Krauss either, but I'll start checking him out.
I guess I haven't been doing my homework...
Thanks for the tip.

Well, I checked out the Amazon samples. I was disappointed -- very sparse use of animal sounds, and not very creative.
And I thought my puns were bad until I saw his ("Ape No Mountain High Enough", for instance).
It had some glowing reviews on the site, but I can't understand why...

Chaz the Spaz
Although I tend to agree with you about being not very creative, all the sounds are from animals. Animal sounds recorded and sampled, then played. I got interested in Beaver and Krause in the early 70's because they were one of the first musicians to use a Mini Moog. Rarely do I see a release from either one of these people and when 'Gorillas' came out I was suprised and a little dissapointed too.

Chaz the Spaz
Beaver & Krause page
Artist History
Paul Beaver (b. 1925, d. 16 January 1975) and Bernie Krause (b. Detroit, Michigan, USA) were early exponents of electronic music. Beaver played in several jazz groups prior to exploring synthesized instrumentation, and later contributed sound effects to various film soundtracks (Rosemary's Baby (1968), Catch 22 (1970), Performance (1970)). Krause came from a folk background as a member of the Weavers and was later employed at Motown Records in studio production. Moving on to Elektra Records, it was as a staff producer that he met Paul Beaver. Working together, their use of spoken word, acoustic instruments, tape loops and improvisation pushed back the boundaries of rock and, as session men, their work graced albums by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Simon And Garfunkel, Neil Young and many more. Gandharva, recorded live in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, proved the most popular of their own releases, and featured additional contributions from guitarist Mike Bloomfield and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. Paul Beaver completed a solo album, Perchance To Dream, prior to his death from a heart attack in 1975. Krause went on to pursue a career in electronic music.
DISCOGRAPHY: Ragnarock (Limelight 1969)***, In A Wild Sanctuary (Warners 1970)***, Gandharva (Warners 1971)***, All Good Men (Warners 1972)***, A Guide To Electronic Music (Nonesuch 1975)****.

The Lord Dog Almighty
His name was Luther Garrett. Thin, bald-headed guy in the 70's, in his 20's then. He had an 8-track studio setup (or was it 4 track, then? Might have been.) I heard a Dog concerto he recorded back then. I think he changed pitch with vari-speed on the tape. Man, I'll bet that was laborious.
He and I were good acquaintances back then. I ran into him once in a casino in Tunica, quite a few years back. I believe he ended up in Georgia.
Anyway, just wondered if you'd crossed paths.

Chaz the Spaz
How did you first become interested in music?

Nope, Luther Garrett rings no bells with me, but he sounds like the sorta guy I'd've liked to know.
The dog concerto sounds like a real labor of love with that equipment. I'm amazed!
I've always been interested in music, but I didn't try composing until I found Sonic Foundry's ACID program and started tinkering with loops. So I'm not a musician yet -- just learning what I can.
I come from a family of bluegrass musicians -- my grandmother was a champion fiddler who played occasionally with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys -- but that wasn't the music that interested me as a kid. I preferred classical.
I think I made a misstatement (as Bush would say) about Krause. The comment you made about The Weavers jogged my memory. I wrote Krause about an article he'd written on animal sound recording, and got a nice reply from him.

Chaz the Spaz
"I wrote Krause about an article he'd written on animal sound recording, and got a nice reply from him."
Cool, could you elaborate a little about the article, your letter, and his reply? I'd be interested. Do you have any of Bernie Krause's music?

I've been trying to find the Krause correspondence, but no luck yet (insert a long tale of woe about computer crashes here -- I'm still unable to get online from home, after several weeks).
However, the article we were discussing can be found at
Wild Sanctuary
It's about Krause's "niche hypothesis," subtitled "How Animals Taught Us to Dance and Sing."
In response I described a phenomenon I'd noticed: Those of us who grew up in rural areas seemed to have the ability to supply our own "Muzak" (or maybe "white noise") at bedtime. When drifting off to sleep, I clearly hear a chorus of familiar night sounds -- frogs, crickets, birds -- that's apparently supplied by my brain. It's so deeply ingrained from my upbringing that I can actually hear it when it's not really there. I've talked to friends who can hear it too.
Krause wasn't familiar with any research on this, but encouraged me to pursue my own analysis.
There's another of his articles on that site, "Loss of Natural Soundscape: Global Implications of Its Effect on Humans and Other Creatures," that's quite scary in its implications of what we're losing in our natural environment -- without even being aware of it.
If anyone's interested in both music and natural sounds, I'd recommend they read these pieces.

Chaz the Spaz
Randy thanks for the link. As musicians, most of us notice birds singing and animal sounds in nature, whereas others block it out or even consider it an annoyance. Can you imagine, when a recording of a birds call is slowed down, it sounds so ferocious! I wonder at what rate the birds hear their own voices.

Chaz the Spaz
What are your goals and what do you have planned for your music?

Right now I'm trying to finish up a second Saunk Hogben CD, so Zoolophone's temporarily on a back burner.
It's a slow process, considering I'd let my premium artist status lapse while waiting to see what's gonna happen with this site.
But the songs are nearly done. The album will be called either "The Saunk Remains the Same" or "The House of the Rising Saunk."
I'm hoping I can get exposure for some of the tracks in dance clubs in Fayetteville.
Then it's back to work on "Zoo 2."


  -- Rick Munarriz

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