Jim Nollman: Playing Music With Animals

Put aside whatever bias you might have against inter-species communication for a few minutes and give Jim Nollman a try. Sure, I know your cat doesn’t listen when you scream, “Stop clawing the god damn furniture, you horrible fiend!!!” – but, have you ever tried jamming with the little fella on, say, a Viheula? Didn’t think so. Well, that is exactly what Mr. Nollman does – and when he does, animals listen. Well, actually, they sing along.

Like so many other records that only Folkways would have released, this records works on so many different levels that is is absolutely amazing. I mean, when I first found out about this one I assumed it was an avant garde record and was like, “yeah, dude, he jams with turkeys and stuff. I need to hear this.” And it does work well as an avant garde record – but once you’ve read what Jim Nollman is about, you hear it again with new ears – and it really takes on a whole new significance. He truely is playing music with these animals. He is following their musical example as much as attempting to see if the animals comprehend his human music. If you allow yourself to consider the implications of this your mind will be blown, totally and completely.

I will now leave you with the sounds and words of the man himself. He explians himself far better than I ever could…

Listen: “Cello and Wolf Pack 1”, “Orca Heavy Metal”

Original Booklet: Click to make larger – I’ve scanned it at a readable size…


  • Wow. That’s amazing, but I think it’s animal abuse. No wonder he writes that the turkeys attacked him :P

  • It’s weird, I thought it was jim, but I went to check his name and I looked at the spine of the lp and it says “john nollman”. I thought I was losing my mind.

  • Hi brother, I’ve been looking for this record for a long time, can’t find it even on soulseek, I want to know if there’s a chance where i could get a copy or full audio could be downloaded.
    great work goin on this site, good luck!

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