I was a band geek in school. If you were a band geek or had friends that were, you know we’re just different. I took it to a different level – I was a college band geek, and even spent two years in a drum and bugle corps. But since I was a drumline band geek, there was a little more coolness to our status, but maybe not much.
A great benefit of this was my exposure to a wide variety of music and instruments that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered. Up until that point, my musical knowledge was restricted to 70’s and 80’s era rock and popular music. I am impressively familiar with 80’s music, regularly embarrassing my kids by singing lyrics to classics like “Electric Avenue”. You should see the looks on their faces. One of my daughters likes Phil Collins now, so I must be doing something right.
Anyway, back to college – early on, some friends of mine introduced me to jazz. Not so much the big band jazz, but everything from Al Jarreau to Pat Metheny Group. In particular, the CD Letter from Home by the Pat Metheny Group hit me. It was (and is) a different kind of music, with some pretty complicated time signatures and rhythms, with an understated Brazilian flair. It also represented my first experience with what I can only refer to as a musical tapestry – layered instrumental arrangements with very subtle, yet powerful background instruments. It’s easy to write off this kind of music as “elevator music” – until you appreciate how hard it is to perform.
In this case, much of the percussion appealed to me, and so I began to explore other music of this type, leading me to an appreciation of the so-called “World Music” genre, in particular African and Asian music that incorporated regional percussion instruments. This music, even the “easy” music, is a lot of fun to play, and in some cases, pretty tough to pull off.
So what does this have to do with anything Disney? As you may already know, Disney Parks and Resorts have audio loops playing all over the place, with music from different parts of the world. In 2004, we had the good fortune to take our two older children on their first Disney trip, and we stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since then, we’ve been back a few times, two of those times staying at Kidani Village. There I discovered the audio resort loops. The soundtracks contain music that took me back quite a few years – a great mix of instrumentals and vocals by artists I’d not encountered.
The Jambo House and Kidani Village loops (inside and outside loops) are terrific to enjoy in their entirety. I like to listen and kind of get lost in the soundtracks, almost as if we’re there, enjoying the slower pace you’ll find at those resorts.
In particular, there are four tracks by Samite that take me from our Louisiana home to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village. These tracks are from his album Stars to Share and include: “Sala Endongo,” “Cradle With Love,” “Having a Good Time,” and “Night Stories.” Listening to these tracks bring back memories of night time walks around and using the resort’s night vision goggles to view the animals. Great times.
The tracks contain excellent vocals, subtle instrumental arrangements, and of course, layered percussion to weave a unique tapestry of sound. Sometimes there’s a bit of a melancholy feel to the music, and that adds to my fondness of memories from our stays there. I can remember at that moment feeling that those were some of the best times of our lives. When I hear that music, it makes me want to make every day and every place special for my family. And of course, I want to return to Walt Disney World.
The album and individual tracks by Samite are available in the iTunes store. You can also get a copy of the CD through suppliers like Amazon and CD Universe.
If you’d like to listen to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village resort loops, check this out:
What Disney park ride audio, park loop, or resort audio is your favorite? I’d like to know what great Disney audio captures your imagination and takes you back to the parks and resorts. Leave a comment below!
Since going to Walt Disney World and Disneyland at a young age, Chris has always enjoyed Disney music, TV shows, movies, and trips to Walt Disney World. But his appreciation of the overall Disney experience has greatly increased over the last few years. While waiting for the next chance to work on his Disney photography skills, Chris passes the time listening to Park/Resort audio, WDW podcasts, and checking out the work of other Disney photographers. To Chris, there are no bad Disney trip photographs or photographers.
Non-Disney pursuits include spending time with his wife and children, watching and listening to baseball broadcasts, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs and LSU. Chris is a third generation professional engineer in Louisiana, working mainly on asbestos, lead, mold and demolition projects. Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisWhitePE and you can check out his Flickr photo stream: chris_white2323.