Ectoplasmic Terrier! Great name. Anybody we know??!!
"Ectoplasmic Terrier" comes from a piece of music by avant-garde composer Jackson Mac Low
(now deceased) called "Thanks
," which calls for any number of performers to produce any chosen vocal sounds, words, phrases, or sentences. It is up to the performers to ad lib, or not, or fall silent, or pick up a new sound, phrase, etc. Thus the performers find rhythm, patterns, and cadences via chance operations. If I go much further, I'll start lecturing on music post-John Cage (who is to modern music what Einstein is to modern mathematics). I don't know what the origin of the phrase "ectoplasmic terrier" is, but I always thought it was catchy.
So, among word strings such as "native economy buying bisexual lettuce reduction jarring," and "Chomskyan disapprobation necrology," two of the voices start sparring back and forth, "ectoplasmic terrier...King Kong...ectoplasmic terrier...King Kong...ectoplasmic terrier...."
At least that's the rendition of "Thanks" I'm familiar with, found here: http://www.experimentalintermedia.org/xi/110.shtml