Other: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
The Turkey Trot
By Tanasa Slovin (04/21/10 22:51:55)
Related animals: Rooster, Turkey, Whale

What I found most interesting about Nollman’s story of the Turkey Trot, was the fact that he had always been obsessed with animals growing up and then at age sixteen, decided to turn to music simply because in his view like most animal lovers, “[he] did not help to change the “dead view” by becoming a zoologist” (p. 6). Nollman simply was passionate about the ability to learn from animals as opposed to learning about animals. Even at a young age, students are thrown into the awkward and uncomfortable position of dissecting animals for academic purposes. I felt a connection with Nollman when he discussed his experience of the matter. When dissecting time came around in high school biology, Nollman expresses, “…If I complained to the teacher that I would not, under any circumstances, stick a pin into the brain of a leopard frog, she, and most of the “serious” students, looked upon me as squeamish, or even a coward” (p. 6).
Nollmans relationship with the turkey consisted of only playing music for him/her for about an hour a day. It was interesting to me to learn that Nollman could distinguish the differences of whether or not the turkey was not actually singing with him, or whether or not he was actually responding to the intensity of the notes. By just spending an hour a day with him, Nollman discovered certain personality traits that consist within Turkeys, even how they react differently when the temperature in the weather changes. Nollman says, “When it was hot, the bird gobbled sooner and more often” (p.8). It is pretty remarkable how much information one can learn from an animal, just by spending simply one hour with them a day.
The most important aspect within the communication of the human/ turkey relationship is the connection that music has within an interspecies aspect. Nollman explains that communication in general involves more than just giving and receiving of knowledge, language and information—however it involves aesthetics. Music, for example, it aesthetically pleasing to humans, as well as the fact that “music involves a sharing of tones, harmonies, and rhythms during a set duration of time. The quality, the so-called beauty of the form, of course, lies in the ears of the beholder” (p. 9). This makes me want to experiment music and communication with other species!

The Man Who Talks to Whales: the Art of Interspecies Communication (Book) [Write Comment]