Animals and sounds 🐋

Animals. I like them, and others do too. There is Donna Haraway who introduced the powerful concept of companion species I think already earlier than her book The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness. Derrida had meditations what it is to be naked in front of his cat in The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow). Animal phenomenology is a thing, e.g. Nagel’s 1979 What is it like to be a bat? And so on and so forth.

Obviously animals feature in literature, the graphics arts like painting, graffiti and calligraphy, the plastic arts like sculpture, dance, science (the OncoMouse™), politics, cuisine, healthcare, sports, warfare…

There are Cats on Synthesizers in Space. There is the @animalsandsynthesizers on Instagram which is basically the best thing that has happened to Internet since cgi-bin, e.g.

There are videos online about cats and horses playing the piano.

I grew up around loads of animals, and when I was young I found to my pleasure the cats were mesmerized by Philus’ (Mika Vainio) Kolmio EP (Sähkö 1998) which i would play to they on vinyl :cat2:

Do you perform to (non-human) animals? Do you consider them band members, muses or even instruments? Or do they pee on your expensive modular setups, messing your vibe? An inspiring source for sampling, or perhaps for études in sound design like this fun one from @andrewhuang


When I bought the OP-Z i noticed myself to had been slightly surprised that it did not ship with any animal sounds on it (of course you can add your own sounds but that is another thing). I am absolutely obsessed with this crow sample used by Ikonika and others.

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Obligatory Igorrr chicken post with a post like this! enjoy :slight_smile:


Nice one! I could imagine chickens would love to deconstruct a modular patch. The cables are a little like wormies :bug: right?


That would be fantastic! Especially if you put millet over it … if you don’t mind some chicken scratches and pecks on your panels!

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A bit of wear and tear is just charisma, right?

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They’re really nice!



There is this cat purring simulator too called Purrli. I wonder what cats :cat2:, or mice :rat: make of it.


I just tried it with a very content purring cat on the sofa and she reacted slightly, particularly to the miaow, but mostly just drowned it out. And demanded stomach tickling.


Ok, I already posted this in the tape thread this week, but I can’t not share this video of a chicken-based performance in response to this:


20 chrs of wholesome

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Heh, that’s lovely. I still hope to have the opportunity to keep chickens at some point.

I did a short track once with a synth voice mostly matching the cadence of the soft, sweet chatter of a hen (from a recording found on Freesound). I adjusted a couple of notes for less adventurous musical purposes. The title Chicken Shadow refers both to the process and to a personal memory that exceeds the scope of this thread (and is also an uninteresting anecdote).

Chicken Shadow in here

I had some other thoughts and wanted to read the rest of the thread, but now is inconvenient. Looking forward to reading it later.


i have yet to do a track personally with animals. Id like to sample my hamsters but they are very quiet. the only thing i could use is the patter of their feet or them chewing on cardboard!

That is the famous french musician Igorrr , i wish i could make music as good as him!

Those would be good sounds to sample. I’ve kept tarantulas for many years and they typically move with such grace and slowness that they are in effect silent. They can clatter a bit when scuttling along a resonant surface. I certainly haven’t tried using one as a controller, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread. What an idea. As they often remain motionless for hours or days at a time, they could make for a cool chaotic element.

I keep tropical cockroaches as feeders for them, and those are far from silent. A contact microphone on their container when they receive vegetables is a good source of texture. I’ve recorded them over the years but have nothing new lately. With small children around, my home is presently too rarely quiet enough for sensitive recording projects.


I find this site useful for when my pets are having trouble communicating with foriegners.


I just discovered this other, narrower thread focusing on composing with bird song.

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I was wearing headphones. Cat gave me a strange look when it began but as I continued stroking him he went on his chair at the side of mine and when I clicked the mute button he was purring himself.


The awesome RWM MACBA has this awesome serie called PROBES with Chris Cutler. The new episode 29 is all about animals, with a bit of plants and stones.


In PROBES #29 composers turn to nature, not as pastorale but as concrete musical resources. Chris Cutler looks at animals, vegetables and one or two minerals as they are directly incorporated into musical works, as leading voices: there are birds, wolves and whales, obviously, but also less cuddly creatures, plants, cacti, rocks and stones. We also consider some of the motives and ideologies at work, and hear minerals make sounds that are hard to credit.

60 minutes or so, with 30 works.


I’m really enjoying Alexander Liebermann’s ear training challenges. Such a fun idea.