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The Making of Survivor Music

The tribe has spoken Alicia.
Courtesy of CBS
Make some Noize!
Various Sized Didjeridus
The Making of Survivor Music - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Ever wonder how they made those sounds and music on Survivor? Well look no further - we'll give you the inside scoop to the music on one of the most watched shows on the tube.

If you're like me, you can't wait to sit down in front of the tube and catch the latest adventures on Survivor. Doesn't your heart beat just a little faster the minute you hear the theme music begin? Can you imagine watching Survivor without all those tribal chants and low sounding fog horn noises? The show tries really hard to create a tribal feel - from the look of the immunity idol to the elaborate "Stonehenge" tribal council, to those nasty torches you hope won't be snuffed out (or in Jerri's case - you hope will.) The feel of Survivor wouldn't be complete without music.

If you're wondering how they made the theme music for the most addictive show on TV, look no further. It wasn't about hitting the studio with a couple of instruments and a guy with a painted face and a loincloth. Instead Russ Landau, who did last year's Survivor theme music, was flown to Australia from California. The production team recorded the music inside a cave-like structure known as the Undara Lava Tubes. This added an echoey effect to the music, kinda like singing in the shower. But this "shower" comes complete with the sounds of bats chirping and fluttering.

Now about that signature foghorn noise you hear throughout the show when they cut to a croc or a bouncing kangaroo. In the first Survivor they used a conch shell to make the haunting sound, but this time they're using a didjeridu (also spelled didgeridoo) which is a wind instrument used by Australian aboriginals. It's made from a hollowed out log and is usually painted with a design. To get the crazy sound, you just blow on the stick like you would on a trumpet. Of course there's a little more to it than just blowing, so they rounded up local aboriginal musician, David Hudson to play the didjeridu.

On a different note, the opening theme wasn't created using the real chants of aboriginals because the locals are very protective of the religious hyms. Survivor actually had the show's editors chant for them. After the didjeridu sections and chanting was recorded they added a little studio magic to the mix and - presto! So the next time you sit down to watch Survivor with your friends you'll be able to give them the scoop on those funky Outback grooves.

1Did you know that funk-master Jamiroquai uses a didjeridu?

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