23 Aug 2019

The fart heard around the world: how an Australian musician's fart went viral

From First Up, 5:51 am on 23 August 2019

When an Australian musician recorded his fart on his phone he had no idea it would become an educational talking point for music students all around the world. His 7-tone fart was so unique, he turned it into a symphony and it went viral.

Four years ago, Loz Blain recorded the sound of one of his farts on his mobile phone and knew immediately that it was unique - so he turned it into a symphony.

His fart symphony went viral after he posted it online and it became the world's most watched video on Youtube for one day.

Listeners pointed out that Loz's 7-tone fart sounded like one of the motifs in Beethoven's 6th symphony.

The symphony has been played in classes at Berklee College of Music in the US - the world's largest independent college of contemporary music - all the way to Royal Oak Intermediate here in Auckland.

The 'Fart Symphony' has a lot of wind instruments, but the main star of the composition is the wind that composer Loz Blain produced himself.

When slowed down, Mr Blain's fart turned out to be a musical scale - a Major 7th arpeggio in the key of B flat, with a trill at the end.

He said when he listened back to the recording, he knew there was a song in there just waiting to break free.

"My brother Shonky moved out of town and I didn't want him to get homesick so I was sending him all of my farts at this time," said Mr Blain who had recorded the famous fart on his phone.

"I knew there was something about it. It just made such a happy little sound and it kind of reminded me of those little whistles they have when you're a kid that sort of go and it just made me very happy."

It's now made people all over the world very happy too.

The fart symphony received thousands of comments on Reddit, has racked up 5 million views on youtube, the BBC has featured it on a couple of their radio programmes and Loz says he's still getting feedback from fans around the world.

"I make content all day, I've made a whole bunch of music in my life but this is far and away the most successful project I've ever done," said Mr Blain.

The Fart Symphony was used in music composition classes at Berkeley College of Music in the US, largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.

Loz says he's pleased to see that his fart has resonated with other musicians and students around the world.

It also became a talking point for students at Auckland's Royal Oak Intermediate who had been studying body percussion and how different parts of the body, such as one's voice, can be used to make sound.

"We weren't looking at studying that particular sound but after the kids had had a really long day studying lots of different music, I thought it would give them a good mental break and it was still on-topic," says Music teacher Jordan Bartlett, "and the students loved it.

"I think you know, if there's moments in life that are just golden then you just gotta take a hold of it."

Loz says he's pleased that his Fart Symphony has resonated with so many worldwide.

"I've recorded hundreds of farts and none of them were as musical as that thing. But for a little fart it's just brought a disproportionate amount of joy into the world."