Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dave Soldier

Dave Soldier (born November 6, 1956) is an American composer and performer residing in New York. Some of his work is based on unusual collaborations. In the Thai Elephant Orchestra he built giant musical instruments on which he trained a group of elephants to improvise. The Thai Elephant Orchestra, located at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center near Lampang, has recorded three CDs, consists of up to 14 elephants, and is listed by Guinness as the world's largest orchestra by weight, claimed to be roughly equivalent as much as three Vienna Philharmonics.

He created specially designed instruments for music played by zebra finches and pygmy chimpanzees, the latter in collaboration with Gordon Shaw, the physicist who popularized the Mozart effect. He has a repertory for music, the Brainwave Music Project, played by performer's brainwaves using electroencephalograms in collaboration with the computer musician Brad Garton.