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Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a band that was created by Simon Jeffes.
The band ended when Simon died - 1997, although it has been replaced by Penguin Cafe, created by his son, in 2010. The music has been put under the genre of "imaginary folk"
The story of PCO:

One day in 1972, while visiting Japan, English composer Simon Jeffes was given the opportunity to listen to African music that revealed to him, "why it is we play music, that gut level sound of humans being human."

That same year, he was in the South of France, suffering from a terrible bout of food poisoning. He had a series of feverish waking dreams about a strange place.

"The dream he had was a dystopian view of the near future, where all was grey and concrete. People lived in huge grey blocks and one could see into the windows. In one room a couple was making love soundlessly and lovelessly. In another someone was simply sat staring at a screen. In a third room a musician sat working at an array of electronic equipment but he was wearing headphones and the room was totally silent. In the top corner of each room a camera watches all that happens like a malevolent eye.

This world was de-humanized and crushing for the heart... but one could reject it and look further afield. If you looked down the road a certain way you could see a ramshackle building with noise and light and chaotic music bursting out of doors in to the night. This was the Penguin Cafe. Inside it was a bar, with long tables where everyone sits together. There was sawdust on the floors and when you're feeling tired the glasses make themselves lighter to help you. In the back there is always a band playing music. You can't think where but its always music you feel you've heard before. This was the Penguin Cafe Orchestra."


  • Signs of Life
  • Music from the Penguin Cafe
  • Broadcasting from Home
  • Preludes Airs and Yodels
  • Penguin Cafe Orchestra
  • When in Rome

Penguin Cafe on Soundcloud and the official new and old site versions.

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