16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

But the sleeve of Michael Hearst's new CD, Songs for Unusual Creatures, shows pictures of a blue-footed booby, an elephant shrew, a blobfish, a humpback anglerfish and more. (Those images are courtesy of illustrator Jelmer Noordeman, and will appear in a book version of the project, out later this year.)

Hearst, a Brooklyn musician and composer best known as a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, says he finds an affinity between these strange beasts and many strange instruments you never hear at the symphony.

"Some of them were almost built for this album," Hearst tells NPR's Scott Simon. "In particular, there's one that I use for the 'Honey Badger' song, which is the daxophone. 'Dax' [comes from] the German word 'dachs' — just like 'dachshund' — which means badger. The dachshund was a badger hunter. So that song needed to have the daxophone, which is this animal-like-sounding instrument."

You can learn more about the unusual creatures at Michael Hearst's website, and watch him perform "Chinese Giant Salamander" on this page.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Bringing Tales Of WWII To American Radios And Bookshelves

Bill Shirer brought stories of war in Europe into American homes. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Ken Cuthbertson about his new book, A Complex Fate: William L. Shirer and the American Century.
NPR

Trickster Journalist Explains Why He Duped The Media On Chocolate Study

John Bohannon, the man behind a stunt that bamboozled many news organizations into publishing junk science on dieting, talks to NPR's Robert Siegel about why he carried out the scheme.
NPR

Martin O'Malley Set To Join The 2016 Race

The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor enters the Democratic race for president Saturday. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Juana Summers about how O'Malley will approach the campaign.
NPR

Tech Giants Compete ... For Your Vacation Albums

With ballgames, family reunions and trips to the beach, summer is full of chances to snap photos. Apple and Google are in a battle to help you store, organize and share all those visual mementos.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.