PB & Jenny

A twist to a favorite American standard. My thoughts on new adventures, also with a twist.

Talented Thai Elephants are a Triple Threat January 31, 2008

Who knew that elephants are capable of so many varieties of artistic expression?  Not only can they paint as I touched on here, but they’re also musically inclined.     

The Thai Elephant Orchestra consists of up to a dozen elephants trained to play instruments ranging from drums and harmonicas to the theremin and electronic keyboards.  You can listen to samples of their music here or at Amazon. 

The orchestra was created and is conducted by elephant conservationist Richard Lair of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, and the American composer/performer Dave Soldier.  They already have two CDs released on the Mulatta Records label, and a third is in the works. anim66.gif

I looked online to see if I could locate any dancing elephants, which would make them a triple artistic threat. I didn’t expect to find any hits, but lo and behold, these elephants can dance!  Check out this commercial with a dancing elephant. 

For info on how it was made, you can refer to this website.  There truly are real dancing Thai elephants though.   

These talented Thai elephants are definitely marvels of the animal world.  Just think, if you end up purchasing an elephant painting, or musical CD, not only are you helping provide the elephants with additional food, proper veterinary care, and improved shelter, but you’ve also got a cool conversation piece. Unless you want to be tricky and when your friend mentions, “I love this, who’s it by?” you can answer L.E. Font (or Ellie Fant).   

EDITED TO ADD = I forgot to mention that I read a book about an elephant recently called Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer.  The sweeping saga spanned 7 decades and 3 continents, following the life and times of a remarkable elephant and her faithful companion and trainer.   

I pulled this summary from Amazon:  Modoc is the joint biography of a man and an elephant born in a small German circus town on the same day in 1896. Bram was the son of an elephant trainer, Modoc the daughter of his prize performer. The boy and animal grew up devoted to each other. When the Wunderzircus was sold to an American, with no provision to take along the human staff, Bram stowed away on the ship to prevent being separated from his beloved Modoc. A shipwreck off the Indian coast and a sojourn with a maharajah were only the beginning of the pair’s incredible adventures. They battled bandits, armed revolutionaries, cruel animal trainers, and greedy circus owners in their quest to stay together. They triumphed against the odds and thrilled American circus audiences with Modoc’s dazzling solo performances, only to be torn apart with brutal suddenness, seemingly never to meet again. Hollywood animal trainer Ralph Helfer rescued Modoc from ill-treatment and learned her astonishing story when Bram rediscovered her at Helfer’s company. His emotional retelling of this true-life adventure epic will make pulses race and bring tears to readers’ eyes.

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4 Responses to “Talented Thai Elephants are a Triple Threat”

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWho knew that elephants are capable of so many varieties of artistic expression?  Not only can they paint as I touched on here, but they’re also musically inclined.      The Thai Elephant Orchestra consists of up to a dozen elephants trained to play instruments ranging from drums and harmonicas to the theremin and electronic keyboards.  You can listen to samples of their music here or at Amazon.  The orchestra was created and is conducted by elephant conservationist Richard Lair of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, and the American composer/performer Dave Soldier.  They already have two CDs released on the Mulatta Records label, and a third is in the works.  […]

  2. daranee Says:

    This is fabulous. Thanks for commenting on my blog as it gave me a chance to learn about Thai Elephant Orchestra, and I am Thai.

  3. Jenny Says:

    Hi daranee – How cool that I taught a Thai person something about their elephants. 😉 Did you know about the elephants painting (or dancing), but not their music? Or was all of it new to you?

    Also, is your site http://nyenoona.wordpress.com/? If so, I’m still thinking about those hand paintings.

  4. daranee Says:

    All new. I should qualify that I’m Thai American so I don’t know everything about Thailand. I was born in Bangkok, but my dad is American and was in the Air Force stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. I don’t remember Thailand at all because I was raised in California.

    I did go back to Thailand in 2001 though. It’s a beautiful country and yes I got to see some of the “working” elephants. They’re extraordinary creatures.


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