The Bubble Blog » But What Has She Done Lately?
But What Has She Done Lately?
Posted on December 10, 2009 by freshwater
As those who follow my fish escapades know, Jor Jor was quite the rousing musician in our Cirque du filet video. But what has she done lately?

Jor Jor's CD

She has not been resting on her laurels! (I don't think she knows what a laurel is, and if she did, she would probably eat it.) No, my friends, Jor Jor is catapulting bubble over tail toward musical stardom. She has begun work on her first CD!

Unknown Waters, Common Ground will be an eclectic collection of water-themed music. Jor Jor will play one or more instruments on each track along with other local musicians. (The Twin Cities, MN, area has a huge pool of professional musical talent.)

As we began work on the album, I doubted that a goldfish could actually be musical. But that preconception has been shattered. The more freedom Jor Jor has with her instruments, the more goosebumpy I get!

Here's why. Until this week, Jor Jor played her handbells in isolation from any musical piece. She would yank a string, the bell would sound, I "clicked" with a penlight when she pulled the string, and then I gave her a reward. I videotaped Jor Jor playing specific handbell notes, then dubbed that video into the Cirque du filet sequence.

I expected to use the same procedure on Jor Jor's album, and for many of the tracks, I probably will. We've been building up a library of handbell notes and chords so that I can edit Jor Jor's contribution in with the playing of our live musicians.

I often let Jor Jor have access to a bell for a few minutes at random during the day, and she plays it without any reward from me. I noticed that she seems to favor certain notes. In particular, she really likes F. She rings up a storm with F. I had already chosen most of the set list for Unknown Waters, Common Ground, and I thought it would be interesting to take an ipod speaker and play a piece that features a lot of F notes, give Jor Jor her F handbell, and just see what happens. THAT'S when my goosebumps appeared.

I tried it eight times. Six of the eight times the result was exactly the same. The piece was Barbra Streisand's vocal version of "Moon River." It has an instrumental intro, and then Streisand comes crooning in. Nearly every time, Jor Jor listened for several bars, then just before the vocals began, exactly on the beat, she rang her F bell once. Then, apparently satisfied that she'd given Babs an introduction worthy of a diva, Jor Jor was content to drift back and enjoy the lovely lilt of the song.


This changes my whole concept of how Jor Jor perceives music, and what she can do. I do expect to do some dubbing with our note and chord library, but I also envision a live jam session with musicians clustered near her tank and Jor Jor putting in her musical two cents as she sees fit. And I also plan to set up all her instruments and just let her compose.

Who knows? There may be an AquaMozart in there!!