Monkey Chant

  • songfacts ®
  • This is a track from Mobile, Chicago-based percussionist Glenn Kotche's third solo album. He is best known for his involvement in Wilco.
  • Kotche told Uncut magazine the story of this song: "Monkey Chant was based on a portion of the Ramayana - the epic Hindu story and was inspired by some of the original, field recordings of the vocal chant from the last century."

    "I assigned different sounds to the characters from the story. I had this prepared snare drum that I'd developed years ago and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to utilise it. It has various springs, cables and sticks going through the actual snare drum head with contact mikes on the drums so the small, really unusual sounds get amplified and interact with the rest of the kick."
  • Kotche told Uncut about the Mobile album. "Basically when I make a solo record I have certain rhythmic ideas that I want explored. It doesn't start out as, 'Oh, Ill make a solo record,' it starts out with nagging questions."

    "I was touring so much with Wilco, writing in hotel rooms and on tour buses, looking at certain things that I'm not able to explore on a drum set alone. Its kind of an extension of my drumming and this particular record had three or four concepts that I was really interested in. Its kind of stylistically all over the place but there are rhythmic concepts grounded underneath the surface for me, all played on various percussion instruments."
  • The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit poem, which tells the story of Prince Rama, who was exiled from his kingdom of Ayodha. The epic was originally written by the poet (rishi) Valmiki of Ancient India and contains 24,000 verses in seven books. It is considered to be one of the two most important ancient epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata.
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