Monday, November 23, 2015

Kickstarter quest to make music for cats

Cats are getting a new album with music created especially for their enjoyment.
Cats are getting a new album with music created especially for their enjoyment.

One man's mission to make music for animals has resulted in an album especially designed for cats, and the proof is in the purrs.

More than 8000 investors have got behind US composer David Teie's idea to create music especially designed for the listening pleasure of cats.

"I know, it sounds like a joke. But it's 100 per cent real," Teie says on his Kickstarter page, which has gained over US$195,000 in support for the project.

In 2008, Teie wrote two songs that the Washington Post said "would have been major hits on the cat-music Billboard charts, if there were such a thing."

He says the songs brought out positive reactions from 77 per cent of cats that heard them, while human music spurred virtually no interest in the felines.

Teie, who says he has been a cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years, has spent the last 12 years studying what types of music makes different species tick and why.

"For example, it's because we heard our mother's pulse in the womb that we like drums in our music; the sound intrigues us because it evokes heartbeats. It's no coincidence that our mother's resting heart rate is almost exactly the same pace as music we find relaxing."

His first project was composing music for monkeys, in which he wrote songs at higher pitch and faster pace than human music, because of their high-pitched voices and fast pulse.

For his next project, cats seemed like the obvious choice, he says.

Using musical instruments, Teie has incorporated sounds like chirping birds, the sucking of milk and purring and matched it to the frequency range which cats use to communicate.

He then tested it on some of the internet's most famous cats, whose owners sent him videos.
Teie plans to make the music available free of charge to animal shelters, animal hospitals, and veterinary clinics, saying he wants to bring the beauty and comfort of music to as many species as possible, and would like to look at albums for whales in captivity and troubled dogs next.

Rewards for pledging to Music for Cats include a digital download of the album, CDs, with the US$1000 option of signed CDs and a song being named after your cat having sold out.


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