Several years ago, scientists made serious attempts to understand how gorillas processed love. A subject named Rilla was sedated and laid in a reclined position in a field of synthetic grass. The computer tried to change the thoughts into words, the sounds into textures. Here is the result: Rilla Contemplates Love, written by Hardy Fox.
Hardy Fox used to be the composer for The Residents (spoiler alert). He left the group when he didn’t feel fit enough for touring. Since then, he had released many albums under the name Charles Bobuck, switching to his real name Hardy Fox when his albums became more personal. The first, self-titled and also known under the name Heart, was a study of a young Hardy Fox, an album about Love. The second, Nachtzug was about his last days touring with The Residents. After a break from recording to recuperate, Hardy Fox came up with a concept album about a gorilla:
“A few years ago a study was done by scientists who were really interested by the idea of how gorillas think. Work was being encouraged by the success of sign language with a gorilla named Koko, who unfortunately recently died. The new research was investigating if they could get information by working with computers directly taking information from the mind of a friendly gorilla. Rilla. Hardy Fox did not get the actual results, but did get inspired by his own mind as it was sent into the imagination of what a gorilla might think.”
Rilla Koko died in San Francisco in 2018. Koko could recognise more than 1000 human words. Maybe Hardy felt like a captive ape back then; sedated, with limited freedom and his inner thoughts scrutinised. Koko reportedly mastered over a thousand signs of sign language and understood nearly two thousand spoken English words. When asked: “Where do the animals go when they die?”, Koko replied with three signs: “Cozy, cave, goodbye”.
For the first time ever, this important piece of Mr. Fox’s material from the twilight of his life is finally available on vinyl. This release would not have been possible without the cooperation of Walter Robotka and Klanggalerie, the label who released the first version on CD. This is the second HF release in our series that intends to further immortalise his legacy of musical genius.