The British composer Matthew Herbert has long used unconventional sounds as instruments on his albums. Past experiments have made music out of the sounds of the human body, the sounds of food, the sounds made in the life cycle of a pig from birth to slaughter. For his new album, appropriately titled The Horse, Herbert used a full-size horse skeleton and constructed instruments out of those remains: flutes made from thigh bones, bows from ribs and horse hair.
In addition to the sounds made by the physical horse, Herbert sourced almost 7000 horse sounds from the internet, and he also enlisted a ton of musicians to play (mostly) non-horse related instruments: Sons Of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings and Theon Cross, Evan Parker, Danilo Pérez, Seb Rochford, Edward Wakili-Hick. And he also had the help of the London Contemporary Orchestra.
Hear the album’s first single “The Horse Has A Voice,” featuring Theon Cross, below.