"A lush musical invitation to a realm beyond time and between species. Jami Sieber’s electric cello, in concert with other renowned musicians and the Elephant Orchestra of Thailand, carries us on a unique journey that sings of the heart’s deepest longing and of its fulfillment."
I could never have predicted that an animal such as the elephant, would summon
me to awaken and recognize the inherent connection underlying all that appears
separate. In the midst of the sheer joy that permeates life with the elephants,
one must walk with the constant grief of their captivity and the perpetual threat
of their extinction. In this CD, my mission has been to embody both the grief and
the joy I knew while in their presence.
In 2001 my friend, and filmmaker, Galen Garwood, invited me to Thailand to
meet and play music with the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Galen knew long before I did
that the elephants would profoundly affect my music. There, at the Thai Elephant
Conservation Center, I met Phong, the young elephant who played a xylophone (renat)
and kissed me on my nose with his trunk, and Prathida, the drummer who followed the
movement of my bow with her trunk as I played. With them and at least eight other
orchestra members, I experienced a mystical collaboration I had never known before.
This communion has forever changed the way I see and feel the natural world.
In addition to Galen, I thank Richard Lair, Prassop Tipprasert, and the mahouts at the
Conservation Center and Soraida Salwala at the Friends of the Asian Elephant
Hospital, who shared with grace their expertise and respect for the elephant.
I have come to know that elephants have a creative rhythm, intelligence and
language. It doesn't matter whether or not their music fits our definition. What
matters is that music is a bridge that connects us. The ineffable richness of my
meeting with the elephants in the shared moment of our music sustains me and
gives me hope that we may remember our connection to all beings on this beloved earth.
Once upon a time, Richard Lair invited me to "go to your elephant self".
I now invite you.
Musicians and credits:
Produced by Ryan Hadlock, Jami Sieber and don benedictson
Jami Sieber- electric cello, vocals, acoustic cello, ankglung
Nancy Wilson- classical guitar
Rick Heizman- Korean zither (Kayagum), Burmese twirling temple bells, Burmese harp (saung byat), tar
Benjy Wertheimer- esraj, tabla, djembe, shakers
don benedictson- electric bass
The Thai Elephant Orchestra- angklung, renat, gong, drum
Eyvind Kang- viola
Rick Lazar- timba, riq, udu, caxixi, shakers, triangla
Hans Teuber- soprano sax
Ya Elah- Croatian Vocals (Bon Singer, Alisa Fineman, Cyrise Beatty,
Marsha Attie, Nina Perlman)