Friday, November 02, 2007

What is JELLY MUSIC anyway?

Jelly Music? Music of the Jellies?

What is Jelly Music or Music of the Jellies any way? I get asked this question so often I decided I needed to explain.
Jelly Music (as it's come to be known) is a collection of music using Pan Flutes and the sound of gentle ocean waves, distant whale songs and coastal tidal pools as the background sound. As with most of my music, the background ends up being an integral part of the composition. I use a few other instruments as well in some of these pieces that were composed over a 4 year period.
It all started with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey California around 1986. Julie Packard, daughter of David Packard from the "Hewlett-Packard Company", started the Aquarium. They needed some sound effects for a new upcoming exhibit for Jelly Fish. I suggested that it might be possible to use music and real sound instead of effects. The first song used was entitled Pacific Winds from the album Open Spaces (not released until 1988).The second was Blue Canyons from my album Blue Canyons (released in 1989).

No one had really used music and sound effects with an exhibit like this before.
Well the rest is history as they say. The music became so popular that it ended up being used in not only the Monterey Bay Aquarium but also in just about every major Jelly Fish exhibit around the world including Australia, Japan, England and China. Years later I took these various compositions and put them together on one album under the suggestion from a friend Michelle McKenzie. I really did not have a title for it. I had just been referring to it has the Jelly Music album. When I jokingly said to Michelle the buyer at Monterey Bay Aquarium at the time, she said "Hey! What a great title!" so it stuck.
Income from each album sold is and continues to be donated to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary to preserve the coastal areas off of California. It is the largest Ocean preserve in North America and I am proud to have been involved in it's preservation. To date more than $150,000 has been raised from the sale of the Jelly Music album.
Hundreds of thousands of Jelly Music albums have been sold world wide. (yes I still call them albums...a collection of works like a photo album)
Of course it was been heard in the USA also at the Aquarium of the Americas, Boston Aquarium, Long Beach Aquarium, Atlanta Aquarium and many others around the country.
In particular, the Aurelia Jelly Fish or "Moon Jellies" were some of my favorite sources of inspiration. I had become familar with them while scuba diving in the mid 60's. These are the ones that look like parachutes floating in the deep blue water with their dangling tentacles. (See photo of album cover) I also really liked the undulating Comb Jellies. If you have ever been to an Aquarium exhibit almost any where in the world, then you have most likely heard "Jelly Music".
As far as I know, I was lucky enough to be the first composer to create a musical composition for these incredibly beautiful sea creatures almost 20 years ago. To hear some samples of Jelly Music go to or Return to: John Huling Music


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