GREAT APE SANCTUARIES

 

I AM-IAM PROJECT -  its mission is sharing proceeds for the much needed funding with sanctuaries around the world. Sanctuaries are amazing places, innocent beautiful lives, the spirit between humans and great apes. They are home to individuals, each unique from the next with different names and faces rescued from laboratory research, the entertainment and pet industry, the bushmeat trade and loss of habitat. They provide life time care, rehabilitation, companionship, shelter, protection, even sometimes reuniting family members, bringing new meaning and desires to life.

Inspiration and recording

I AM, I AM is been inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall, and all the magnificent great apes. It's being with the apes in sanctuary and learning about their past and present lives, the lives of great apes around the world, and realities shared by sanctuary founders, leaders and staff. Sharing time, making friends, and especially sharing music, playing my guitar for the many apes in sanctuary, is immeasurable.

The entire collection of great ape vocal recordings, beginning in 2007 of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons were recorded at sanctuaries or in natural indigenous habitats around the world. After choosing the many unique vocalizations, I wrote music in key centers built around their vocal pitches. The rhythms of their vocals and sounds, including the natural environmental sounds are all natural in the music. Absolutely no library sounds were used. 

It started with great ape vocal recordings, recorded by myself, friends and associates either in sanctuaries or indigenous habitats from around the world. Then there was building the story and writing the music: An introduction to all great apes, living freely in the forests, births and celebration, captured, enslaved into laboratory research, overcome by it, habitat loss, orphaned and refuge in sanctuaries. A little more complex than I thought, it was choosing the right vocal expressions and sounds fitting the experience in each song. As the songs evolved in many shapes and stages, they were updated and edited over time. That being adding great ape vocal and sound recordings as they came in from around the world, creating new ideas and musical ideas for any small part or sections of songs. Or it was adding human vocalists to the already existing great ape vocals or to help the lead vocal lyrics. The instruments and vocals, the over all setting for each song in the story was to leave nothing but of the beauty, the harshness, the realities, the joy.

Humans and great apes share vocal expressions

“It's truly exciting to use the great apes vocals, sounds and rhythms side by side with us human vocalists and our instruments.”

Harry’s guitar exchanges lyrical pitches with an orangutan. A bass guitar harmonizes with chimpanzees. The rhythmic vocals and sounds of all the great apes surrounding the drums and percussion; -siamang gibbons astonishing vocals not unlike conga finger slides, gorilla chest beats like djembes, and chimpanzee hand slaps and thumps like drums.     

Some of the amazing ape vocals beginning with laughter come from Knuckles and Arvid,  two young chimpanzees. Soft subtle sighs and singing comes from adult chimpanzee Toddy. The bellowing “long calls” filled with power and air is from Linus, an orangutan. Breathing is from sweet Jeannie, a chimpanzee. Mouth popping noises are from a gorilla. The excited whoops, hoots, hand claps, kisses, to tiny voices are all great ape – big and small. 

JEANNIE, with the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, lived 24 years of her life in research. Having suffered mental breakdowns and to be euthanized in the laboratory, she was rescued into sanctuary. 

KNUCKLES was born affected with cerebral palsy and receives care in a U.S. sanctuary. Arvid, born in Africa and rescued into sanctuary, became ill with meningitis at age five leaving him without full use of his arms and legs. He passed away in 2013 at age eight.

Born in Africa, now living in sanctuary, TODDY was captured and sold as an infant into the pet industry having bullet fragments still lodged in her brain. 

LINUS stepped out into sunshine and the rain for the first time in sanctuary after living caged in a garage.

 

Thank you to all and everyone who took part in the making of this album. It is up to us to care for ourselves, our nature, the beauty that surrounds us all above and below sea level. All my gratitude! - Harry

ps - Visit the provided links for more information on great apes and sanctuaries!!