Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK, July 27 (AFP) ó Not satisfied with healthy sales in the United States from their first CD, Thailand's Elephant Orchestra has gone back to the recording studio to turn out more jumbo hits, their manager said Tuesday.
The "improvised jazz" created by the new, enlarged line-up of 12 jamming pachyderms ó the original band only had five ó is currently being mixed in New York ahead of its release early next month, said Richard Lair of Thailand's Elephant Conservation Centre.
Instruments including an oversize xylophone, gong and harmonicas are played by the band which includes star musicians Chapati, a male, on bass and Prathida, a female, on drums.
"Chapati on the bass has an incredibly delicate touch as does the drummer on her oversized temple drums and western cymbals," said Lair. Lair said the highlight of the new CD ó aimed at raising funds for an elephant care program ó was a jumbo jam with 60 schoolchildren providing a novel version of Beethoven's 6th Symphony.
"The last CD sold about 7,000 copies in the United States and this time we will be distributing it in the US, the UK and Australia," Lair told AFP.
Despite their growing international reputation, Lair said Thai fans would have to order the new CD over the internet until a local distribution deal could be stitched up for the largest act on the Thai music scene.

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