studio recording of Jeph Jermans small sound orchestra with Dave Knott, Mike Shannon, Jeffery Taylor, Robert Millis and Marina Granger. in seattle in 1996, i began giving performances using mainly natural objects as my instruments. after many such performances, two friends suggested (independently of one another), that i might try doing it with a group. as this idea had occurred to me a few years previously, i thought perhaps they were right. in june of 1999, the animist orchestra began its history as a working group. we got together nearly every week for the next three months, to play and discuss our playing. our first performance was given in eric lanzillottas living room for a small group of friends, and was well received. from the beginning, the focus of the orchestra has been on listening, and improvising in the moment. a group of people truly playing together and focusing intently on the present can be a powerful thing. the use of natural objects (stones, shells, pine cones etc.) as opposed to more conventional musical instruments, can help the players to not fall back on learned habits of musical play. there is no canon or book of rules to refer to when using everyday things as sound makers, and this may facilitate the removal of actions arising from taste and memory. during the initial period of discovery for the orchestra, dave knott made the observation that, when when playing and focusing on the sound being made, it was like the spirit of the thing is telling you ho it wants to move. mike shannon once told me that when i play i seem to be animating the objects with my hands. i think these comments explain the name of the orchestra better than i could. i wanted to make a CD of the orchestra to document our work together, and to show my admiration and gratitude for the friends who have agreed to join. i dont think they knew what they were getting into." - jeph jerman.